Lust in Space: Love in Science Fiction Film and Televisoin

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia Miller/Film & History
contact email: 
cymiller@tiac.net

Call for Papers
“Lust in Space: Love in Science Fiction Film and Television”
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory
Second Round Deadline: November 1, 2009

AREA: Lust in Space: Love in Science Fiction Film and Television
Science fiction typically relegates matters of the heart to perfunctory sub-plots. As Dale Arden says in the 1980 remake of Flash Gordon: “Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!” Yet science fiction also places love, sex, and reproduction in provocative new contexts. What are the stakes in a "mixed marriage" when the partnership crosses species, not just races or religions? How does love or family thrive in a utopian (or dystopian) future defined by sleek machines and hyper-efficiency? Does sentience in a computer or robot entail the capacity to love? How do cinematic stories of time travel challenge the ethics of cultural, sexual, or technological interference? Why are scientists, engineers, and astronauts so often sexless in film, and what happens when they do fall in love (or in lust)? From the high seriousness of George Lucas’ THX-1138 (in which love is the ultimate act of defiance in a totalitarian future) to the low comedy of Back to the Future (in which a teenaged time-traveler fends off the advances of his teenaged mother), this area will treat all cinematic and televisual forms—adventure, drama, farce, social commentary, allegory, and more—as it explores the role of love inside the boundless space of science fiction.
Topics that would naturally fall within this area include:
Human-alien couples in series television (Babylon 5, the Star Trek universe)
Human-alien one-night stands (Star Trek, Starman, Barbarella, Species)
Loving robots (AI, the Terminator universe, Bicentennial Man, Wall-E)
Strange pregnancies (Humanoids from the Deep, Demon Seed, Village of the Damned, Junior)
Love and Time Travel (Back to the Future, Time After Time, Forever Young)
Dystopian Love (THX-1138, Gattaca, Children of Men, Zero Population Growth, Fortress)
Love in Space (Rocketship X-M, Saturn 3, Mission to Mars, Red Planet)
The Family of the Future (Meet the Robinsons, Lost in Space, Phil of the Future)
Love in the Laboratory (The Desk Set, Creator, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk)
Man-Made Women: (Metropolis, Bride of Frankenstein, Weird Science, Simone)

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Social and International Studies Department
Southern Polytechnic State University
1100 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060
Email: bvanriper@bellsouth.net (email submissions preferred)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory)

cfp categories: 
film_and_television
popular_culture
science_and_culture
twentieth_century_and_beyond