The SF We Don't (Usually) See: Suppressed Histories, Liminal Voices, Emerging Media

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Science Fiction Research Association
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SFRA 2015

The SF We Don't (Usually) See: Suppressed Histories, Liminal Voices, Emerging Media

June 25-27, 2015

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY

Guests of Honor:
M. Asli Dukan (film)
Alexis Lothian (digital)
Vandana Singh (fiction + physics)

Like any genre, and despite its historically marginal positioning vis-à-vis other genres, Science Fiction has its own canon, a general agreement on what texts are worthy of scholarly attention. But what might be revealed if we critically question the canon and consider what elisions its formation entails? What kinds of racial, gendered, classed, and sexual hierarchies are reinforced through the selection of certain texts as exemplary of the genre? What alternative genealogies might become visible if we look underneath "mainstream" or canonical SF and seek out those liminal voices that have been denied access to privileged outlets?

Given the (slowly) increasing visibility of women, LGBTQIA individuals, and people of color within the world of SF in recent years, both as creators and textual representations, it seems like an opportune moment to ask what submerged or marginal histories of the genre might be (re)constructed as well as what voices remain silenced. What can these alternative genealogies and liminal voices offer for considerations of genre definition and exploration?

Not only does taking a critical perspective on the canon lead us to ask what voices have been silenced or repressed, it also asks us to consider why SF in some media (literature, film) have been privileged over others (television, web series, theater, etc.). The development of new media technologies has generated a wealth of SF production within these emerging media. New distribution models built around streaming media services and social media platforms have provided alternative venues for science fiction films, web series, and short stories. Online fandoms have also provided generative ecologies for amateur and fan fiction in a variety of formats. What insights might be gained from more sustained critical attention to science fiction in these emerging media? What do these technological developments portend for the future of the genre?

We invite paper and panel proposals on any of the three Guests of Honor. We also invite paper and panel proposals that focus on all forms of science fiction and that address (but are not limited to) the following areas:

- Feminist and queer SF
- SF and ability/disability
- Liminal or marginal voices in canonical SF texts
- Online SF fandoms and fan fiction
- SF and new media studies
- SF beyond the West
- SF web series
- SF and the digital humanities
- SF drama and on the stage
- SF poetry
- SF music (music as SF; music in SF; SF music)
- Science as fiction/fiction as science
- Online SF film distribution and streaming video services
- Alternative histories and definitions of the genre