Consumerism and Science Fiction (MMLA Nov 15-18)

deadline for submissions: 
March 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Margaret Atwood Society
contact email: 

MMLA (Midwest Modern Language Association) – November 15-18 Kansas City

Consumerism and Science Fiction: From Modernism to Postmodernism

Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction have long been tied to a critique of consumerist capitalism. Writers like Ursula K. LeGuin and Nancy Kress have questioned how scientific discoveries resulting in consumable products and technologies (Churten Theory, the ansible, Y Energy) can alter social and economic realities. Margaret Atwood discusses the identities generated as a result of magazine reading. Kornbluth and Pohl describe consumerism in the terms of exploitative corporate practices. This panel will consider how consumerism in science fiction has been discussed in SF over the past century including thoughts on the relationship of science fiction to scientific discoveries and science fiction and diverse media. This panel is sponsored by the Margaret Atwood Society; papers incorporating Margaret Atwood’s works will get preference.

Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words along with a brief biographical note to Dr. Joseph Hurtgen at