Contemporary Fiction and the Wild, Wild Future (MLA 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Aaron DeRosa
contact email:

Since the Cold War, the West has undergone significant changes in its perception of the future, from Fukuyama’s “End of History” to DeLillo’s “In the Ruins of the Future.” For instance, after 9/11, the eminent SF writer William Gibson published his first book NOT set in the future. When asked about the choice, he remarked, “I may not be done with the future but I have to figure out what it means to try to write about the future at a time when we are all living in the shadow of at least half a dozen wildly science fiction scenarios.”

We are seeking papers that expand this discussion to think about the future in the contemporary period (since the collapse of the Soviet Union), and beyond science fiction. Some topics for consideration include:
• Messianic time
• Coming of age fiction
• 1990s futurity
• Alternate histories/futures
• The apocalyptic
• Cross-cultural expressions of temporality
• Preemption
Please submit 250-word abstracts and a CV to Aaron DeRosa ( by March 1, 2014.

This is a proposed special session at MLA 2015 in Vancouver.

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