Queer SF: Beyond the Heteronormative Paradigm
The Museum of Science Fiction is accepting 250-word proposals for 15-20 minute papers to be presented at this year’s Escape Velocity Conference in National Harbor Maryland, May 24th – 26th, 2019.
Despite the many axes of difference explored through science and speculative fiction literatures, sexuality still remains surprisingly invisible (read: heteronormative). The assumption of compulsory heterosexuality, while not uncommon across any genre of literature, is particularly discernable in a genre like SF, which, at least in its most recent incarnations, seeks to represent and imagine the futures of the people at the margins of mainstream society – the figures that represent the “Other,” the abnormal, and the queer. Despite this reclamatory trend in fiction writing and literary criticism however, sexuality is still most frequently addressed in terms of power relations between men and women. In these cases, queerness may be used to engender a contrast between itself and more heteronormative dynamics, but often is not given the full scholarly attention it deserves in its own right. Many have argued that sexuality (gay, straight, and everything in between) is simply not a primary concern in science fiction, a genre which tends to focus on futurisms, alternate realities, and the consequences of technology; that it is minimized by and made less legitimate by the inclusion of romance and Romantics, alike. Nevertheless, stories built around heterosexual liaisons persistently emerge as major plot points within these narratives.
For this year’s Escape Velocity Conference, we are seeking proposals that address and challenge the assumption of compulsory heterosexuality throughout science and speculative fiction literatures. We welcome submissions which plan to address the representation and visibility (or lack thereof) of LGBTQ+ characters in specific SF works or by specific authors.
Conference: May 24th – 26th, 2019
Deadline for proposals: April 1st, 2019
*All submissions will be considered for inclusion in the planned Escape Velocity conference anthology unless otherwise requested*