Science and Fiction: Democracy, Narrative, and the Natural Sciences

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
MMLA (Midwest Modern Language Association)
contact email: 

In conjunction with the conference theme of “Going Public: What the MMLA Owes Democracy,” this year’s Science and Literature permanent session invites papers which engage a related theme of “Democracy, Narrative, and the Natural Sciences.” In particular, it invites papers attentive to the scientific discourses moving through fictional texts as they reveal narrative and/or political commitments to democracy, equity, and justice. Submissions might engage but will hopefully not be limited by the following suggestions:

· Agricultural uplift in the works of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois

· Botanical and geographical metaphors for liberation in Black women’s nature poetry

· Climate science and the imagination of environmental justice

· Darwinian evolutionary science and the imagination of socially progressive futures

· Eugenic feminisms from Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Gloria Anzaldúa

· Gothic landscapes and lessons from conservation sciences

· Industrial capitalism and its discontents

· Postcolonial ecologies

· Posthumanism and post-apocalyptic narrative

· Radical geography and narrative representations of space and time

· Space travel and the perceptive capacities of the alien body in sf

· Transgender studies and the gender-expansive narratives of Samuel R. Delany and others

Please submit a brief abstract or proposal (roughly 300 words) and bio (roughly 100 words) via email to by 1 June 2023.