Current Research in Speculative Fiction 10th Anniversary Conference (CRSF 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
March 16, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
University of Liverpool, UK


  • Prof Alex Goody (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Dr Caroline Edwards (Birkbeck University)


They, the animals, do not speak. In a universe of increasing speech, of the constraint to confess and to speak, only they remain mute, and for this reason they seem to retreat far from us, behind the horizon of truth. But it is what makes us intimate with them. It is not the ecological problem of their survival that is important, but still and always that of their silence. In a world bent on doing nothing but making one speak, in a world assembled under the hegemony of signs and discourse, their silence weighs more and more heavily on our organization of meaning.” (Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation)


“I am focusing here on the way the attrition of the subject of capital articulates survival with slow death.” (Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism)


Speculative fiction often serves as an escape from reality and its social, economic and corporeal restrictions. Yet these fictions are also embedded within and reflections upon our reality: often these speculative realms have the power to tell us more about our past, our present and our future than more conventional accounts of history, society and culture. For CRSF’s tenth anniversary, this event seeks to generate interdisciplinary discussions of what survival means in contemporary speculative fiction, and how forms of survival and kinship manifest themselves within textual and visual cultures in the present-day.


We welcome papers for the fields of literary studies, media studies, philosophy, arts, anthropology, sociology, and political theory that speak to, but are not limited to:

  • The notion of survival and its representation in (post)apocalyptic speculative visions
  • The role of speculative fictions in socio-cultural and political critique
  • The body and its transformations (the racialised & gendered body; the queer body; the posthuman body)
  • Representations of violence in speculative fiction
  • Interrelationships between power, fantasy, actors, action, forms, and reality
  • Speculative fiction as a political vehicle of social transformation
  • Forms of alternative kinship made possible (or restricted) in speculative fiction
  • Representations of waste (including but not limited to: nuclear waste; bodily matter; humans as waste; natural resources)
  • Interrelationships between utopias and dystopias
  • The representation and potential subversion or affirmation of binary relations (including but not limited to: human/animal; male/female etc.)
  • Forms of expansion, accumulation and colonisation in speculative fictions


We welcome proposals for academic and artistic contributions that speak to any of the issues. Abstracts (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note (max. 100 words) should be submitted to by Monday 16th March 2020. All queries can be directed to the above email address (or message us on facebook/twitter).