Into the Other Worlds: The Multiverse as Theoretical Method in Postmodern Speculative Fictional Narratives
Call for chapter contributions (Edited book to be submitted for consideration with Routledge)
Seen as a form of expressing and narrating the existence of ‘other worlds’, the multiverse has become an iconic trope to address philosophical inquires in a comprehensive, culturally dynamic way. The volume Into the Other Worlds: The Multiverse as Theoretical Method in Postmodern Speculative Fictional Narratives is inspired by the relevance that the expression ‘other worlds’ has acquired in a world in which fiction is acknowledged as one more possibility of the real. A possibility that has come to strongly characterize the daily life of globalized societies since the 1970s, a decade that –for many authors– coincides with the beginning of Postmodernity.
From this perspective, this collection aims to engage with the multiverse from the idea of ‘other worlds’, understanding it not as the appearance of another independent world (as is the case of DC Comics’ DCeased miniseries), but as the collision of two different worlds into one of them (as is the case of the novel The Lathe of Heaven or the entire The Matrix saga). This volume, therefore, seeks submissions that address fictional texts from the 1970s to 2022 belonging to “speculative fiction”, the field of cultural production that groups together several genres of non-mimetic fiction (Oziewicz, 2017). Under these guidelines, the objective is to bring together innovative and unpublished essays that analyze speculative fiction works in which thinking about the invasion of the diegetic world into the metadiegetic world, or vice versa, gives rise to sociocultural, ontological, and epistemological extrapolations.
Along with the remarkable popularity it has acquired first as a cosmological theory and then within popular culture in recent years, this volume aims to consider the idea of the multiverse beyond the immediacy of its being merely an excuse or scenario for the development of stories. Rather, it seeks to position the multiverse as a theoretical method in which speculative fiction narratives can work together with several disciplines in deeply pondering on different physical and metaphysical challenges. Thus, thinking of it as the collision/overlapping of worlds, the multiverse encourages us to pay attention to the influence that fiction exerts on world-building, providing possible frameworks for rethinking different aspects of temporality, space, self, society, and culture. Furthermore, it pursues to highlight the plasticity of the term by bringing into discussion how the critical issues of overlapping worlds within a fiction can also include virtual worlds, dream worlds, the afterlife, borderlands, etc., with due justification.
It is from this point of view that we invite submissions that illuminate how Literary and Media Studies could embrace the multiverse trope as a theoretical method that problematizes the collision/superposition of ‘other worlds’, in the framework of speculative fiction from the 1970s to date. Only articles written in English will be accepted, even if the works analyzed are in other languages. We encourage submissions that contemplate cross-cultural, transmedia, and comparative approaches. Additionally, those papers which consider what scientific knowledge about the multiverse –in the terms exposed here– contributes to the field of human and social sciences (always from the analysis of fictional texts) are also welcome.
Proposals may address, but are not limited to, reflect on the following topics:
- the subject’s agency inside the superposition of worlds
- fiction in worlds-building
- the role of ethics within the idea of other worlds
- spatial and temporal weightings
- moral considerations
- the role of the self
- the role of serendipity
- the crisis between worlds
- liminality between worlds
You are invited to submit your abstract consisting of a title and 300 words by October 17, 2022. Please send your abstract and a brief biography to email@example.com.
Contact: Dr. Angelica Cabrera Torrecilla, UNAM / UAB / The National System of Researchers of Mexico