Gender and Queer Identities in Australian Speculative Fiction

deadline for submissions: 
June 17, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Gender Forum - An Internet Journal for Gender Studies

Guest edited by Bettina Burger, David Kern, Lucas Mattila

The field of Australian Speculative Fiction thus far remains an underappreciated and therefore notoriously undertheorized field of cultural production. Yet its very diversity and range means that it hosts a site of productive potential for literary scholars from a number of different theoretical orientations. Postcolonial, ecocritical, inter- and transcultural approaches to Australian Speculative Fiction offer fruitful avenues for critical exploration. Scholars concerned with migration, diaspora, Asian Anglophone literature, and Indigenous Australian writing will find ample material to analyse within the broad genre of Australian Speculative Fiction, consisting of such genres as fantasy, science fiction, gothic, horror, magic realism, dystopian writing and many others. Often overlooked, these genres might offer unique insights into the dynamics of often marginalised gender and sexual identities – perhaps all the more so, because these genres are, by definition, open to experimentation and subversion, which lend themselves to challenging heteronormative structures. 

This guest-edited issue of Gender Forum aims to account for Australian Speculative Fiction at its intersection with gender and queer studies, which we consider a particularly fruitful approach because gender and sexual identity seem to be frequent concerns of many writers of Australian Speculative Fiction. The prominence of female writers of Australian fantasy, for example, has been noted by scholars and fans alike, but there are a variety of other ways in which Australian Speculative Fiction can be approached through a lens of gender and queer studies. 


Themes and possible topics by may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gender / Sexuality / Queerness in early Australian Speculative Fiction texts
  • Queer readings of Australian Speculative Fiction
  • Queer characters in Australian Fanatasy literature
  • Issues of Gender, Sexuality and Queerness and the Australian literary market 
  • Women in Australian Fantasy Literature 
  • Gender roles in Speculative Fiction - Australia vs. worldwide
  • Masculinity / Femininity in Australian Speculative Fiction
  • Intersections between representation of gender / sexuality in East Asian Anglophone (Australian) Speculative Fiction and Australian Speculative Fiction
  • Intersections of racism and gendered forms of discrimination in a postcolonial context
  • Indigenous takes on gender and sexuality
  • New concepts of gender in Australian Speculative Fiction
  • Intersectionality in Australian Speculative Fiction 
  • Queer Speculative YA Fiction and short fiction 
  • The role of anthologies in promoting queer speculative short fiction in Australia (Kindred OzYA, Kaleidoscope etc.)
  • Australian Speculative Fiction as a unique site for addressing gender and sexuality- based configurations
  • Changes in the depictions of gender / sexuality in the history of genres 
  • Challenging heteronormative structures and/or concepts of masculinity in early Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy


We invite proposals of up to 300-350 words for scholarly essays with a strong focus on gender, sexuality and queer identities in relation to one or several of the above topics (suggestions for additional ones are welcome). The deadline for submission of proposals (MLA Style) is June 17, 2021. Proposals should include a short bio note. If a proposal is accepted, manuscripts of 5000-8000 words (MLA Style and numbered paragraphs) will be due July 22, 2021. Please send your submissions to australianprojectnrw[at] and gender-forum [at]

Publication date: Summer/Fall 2021