Fantasy, Prophecy, and Prediction as Causality Panel

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Panel Description:

Innovations in tech and science often begin with fantasies that embody a possibility (e.g. Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, Dick Tracy's TV watch, flip phone communicators in Star Trek, and Neuromancer’s cyberspace as VR). Theory is followed by experimentation and prototyping, and ultimately a convergence with reality (although not without tragic casualties along the way, as in the history of flight and space exploration). In this sense, fantasy can be understood as both precursor and prophet of things-to-come.

Both as individuals and members of societies, we inhabit states of belief that amount to expectations and inferences about the future. To what degree are those expectations causal in nature? To what degree does a belief in prophecy, or a desire to avoid a curse, bring the prophecy to fruition? (e.g. Oedipus is left to die so he will not grow up to kill his father; the realization of the witches' prophecy in Macbeth depends on Macbeth misunderstanding it.)

This session invites papers on the relationship between fantasy, prophecy, and realization: from technology to speculative fiction to the social sciences and mythology. To what extent do models of expectation determine realization, whether intentionally or accidentally? How do our non-literal lives, our states of abstraction, intersect with, or even bring about, the landscape/geography of our reality?

PAMLA’s annual in-person conference will convene at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) between Friday, November 11 and Sunday, November 13, 2022. 
Presentations with a visual component are encouraged as well as papers with a connection to this year's theme ("Geographies of the Fantastic and Quotidian").

Please submit proposals by May 15, 2022. 
To submit a proposal, please use the following link (account creation required):
We look forward to reading your proposals!

Graduate Student Scholarship Fund

Thanks to the generous donations of its members, PAMLA is able to offer a number of scholarships to select graduate students presenting papers at the annual conference. Applicants must be current members of PAMLA at the time of application.