CFP: The Once and Future Antiquity: Classical Traditions in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Abstracts Due: DEC 15, 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Brett M. Rogers / University of Puget Sound
contact email: 

The Once and Future Antiquity: Classical Traditions in Science Fiction and Fantasy

University of Puget Sound

March 27th-29th, 2015

Keynote speakers: Catherynne M. Valente and C. W. Marshall

What roles has classical antiquity played in visions of the future, the fantastic, the speculative, the might-have-been? How have works of science fiction, from Mary Shelly's Frankenstein to Ridley Scott's Prometheus, imagined ancient traditions in relation to the modern world, whether at present or in the days after tomorrow? What might it mean to consider antiquity – its art, history, literature, philosophy, and material culture – through the lens of fantasy, a genre traditionally associated with medievalism? This conference seeks to build on recent and increasing work (e.g., conferences in Rouen, France (2012) and Liverpool, U.K. (2013), as well as the recent collection of Bost-Fiévet & Provini (2014) and the forthcoming collection of Rogers & Stevens (2015)) in this exciting field within classical reception studies.

Proposals are invited for conference presentations (20 minutes plus discussion) [or thematically-organized panels of three (3) such presentations each] that raise particular versions of these questions under the general heading of Classical Traditions in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Topics might include the rewriting of an ancient story by a modern author working in science fiction or fantasy; examination of a moment or trend in ancient history from a perspective developed in response to the modern genres; strategies for teaching ancient classics via comparison with modern works; or comparison of classical and science fictional / fantastical approaches to knowing the world.

These are only examples, and the organizers welcome proposals dealing with any intersection between antiquity and modern science fiction or fantasy, including speculative fiction. The organizers also welcome abstracts considering how the Digital Humanities can help advance scholarship in this field. In preparing their proposals, contributors are encouraged to keep in mind an audience including not only professional scholars and students but also readers of science fiction and fantasy. Proposals of no more than 300 words should be sent to classicalreceptions@gmail.com by December 15, 2014. Authors will be notified of their proposals' status by the end of December.

The conference is planned for the weekend of March 27th-29th, 2015, at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, USA. (Tacoma is the hometown of Dune's Frank Herbert and located close to Seattle, home of the EMP, a museum devoted to SF, fantasy, and music). Participants will receive details about registration and lodging in December.

Questions may be directed to the organizers, Prof. Brett M. Rogers (University of Puget Sound) and Prof. Benjamin Eldon Stevens (Bryn Mawr College) at their individual email addresses (bmrogers@pugetsound.edu, bestevens@brynmawr.edu) or at the conference email address given above.