07/01/22) "Futures," SCLA Oct 06-Oct 08 2022, Xavier University, Cincinnati OH

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Society For Comparative Literature and the Arts
contact email: 

2022 Conference



2022 Meeting of the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts

October 6-8, 2022

Xavier University

Cincinnati, Ohio


Keynote Speaker: Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Afrofuturist Film Director 


Call for Proposals

In our time, as in many preceding periods defined by crises, ongoing and recent ecological and political upheavals have generated anxieties about the future. The impending menace of climate change, the growing popularity of ethnonationalist and authoritarian politics across national contexts, as well as global anxieties and inequities engendered by unrelenting successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, combine to forecast a bleak future. In the United States, attacks on minority voting rights in state legislatures have accelerated the regressive encroachment on hard-fought gains secured during the civil rights movement; indeed, for many, the January 6th Capitol insurrection seems to have foreshadowed the impending implosion of the country’s embattled and checkered democratic institutions. 


In a contemporary environment permeated by what seem to be debilitating sociopolitical and environmental realities, how do depictions of the future, adopted in various creative expressions, inform our current predicaments? What theoretical frameworks are best adapted to link visions of the future with social justice programs? What can retrofutures, or artistic and literary depictions of the future in earlier historical periods, teach us about our own contemporary challenges? What spatio-cultural locations tend to be privileged in depictions of the future? What possibilities emerge from theoretical and creative projects that strive to decenter such spaces? Within the field of comparative literature, what are the grounds for productive comparisons when talking about the future? And how should we reimagine the future role of the humanities at large in anticipation of shifting environmental, social, and political climates?


For its 2022 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Oct. 6-8, 2022, on the campus of Xavier University, the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts (SCLA) invites proposals for panels and papers related to “futures,” broadly conceived, as well as to other related topics of interest, which might include some of the following:


  • Dystopic Futures
  • Utopic Futures
  • Ecological futures
  • Religious Eschatologies and Liberation Theologies
  • Pedagogical futures
  • Science Fiction
  • Afrofuturism and Afropessimism
  • Retrofuturism 
  • Futurity and Spatiality 
  • Technological Futures
  • Cyborgian Futures
  • Disciplinary Futures
  • Democracy and its Future
  • Futures as Heterotopia
  • Apocalypse 
  • Queer Futures
  • Posthumanism and Planetary Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • The Future of Social Justice Activism
  • Prison Abolition and De-Carceral Futures


The Afrofuturist filmmaker, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s SCLA conference. As a celebrated director from Cameroon, Bekolo is credited for making the first African science fiction film (Les saignantes).  In his films, “Bekolo transgresses geographical and aesthetic borders. His cinema is not just ‘African,’ postcolonial, experimental, or narrative, it is also a cinema that constantly searches for itself, for what it is and what it can accomplish” (https://brightlightsfilm.com). 


Abstract deadline: July 1, 2022


Email: 2022scla@gmail.com


Panel and paper proposals related to the conference theme are especially encouraged, but all topics are welcome. Please submit panel proposals (500 words) and individual abstracts (250 words) by July 1, 2022. Please include in the body of the email your name, academic affiliation, status (faculty, grad student, etc.), and mailing address. For panel proposals, include the names, addresses, and affiliations for all participants.


Graduate students submitting a paper proposal may be eligible for an SCLA travel scholarship.