CfP – SFRA 2010: “Far Stars and Tin Stars: Science Fiction and the Frontier”

The 2010 Science Fiction Research Association (www.sfra.org) conference theme, “Far Stars and Tin Stars: Science Fiction and the Frontier,” reflects the conference’s venue in the high desert of Carefree, Arizona, north of Phoenix. The frontier, the borderland between what is known and what is unknown, the settled and the wild, the mapped and the unexplored, is as central to science fiction as it is to the mythology of the American West.

International Guest Scholar Pawel Frelik: “Gained in Translation: Dispersed Narratives in Contemporary Culture”

Guest Scholar Margaret Weitekamp: “Ray Guns, Play Sets, and Board Games: What Space Toys Say About the Frontier”

Guest Scholar/Author Joan Slonczewski: “Tree Networks and Transspecies Sex: Biology in Avatar”

Submissions are invited for individual papers (15-20 minutes), full paper panels (3 papers), roundtables (80 minute sessions), and other presentations that explore the study and teaching of science fiction in any medium. Proposals that engage the conference theme are appreciated, but all proposals will be considered.

Paper and other session proposals should be 150-250 words. Paper panel proposals should include the proposals of all three papers and a brief statement of their unifying principle. Include all text of the proposal in the body of the email (not as an attachment). Please be sure to include full contact information for all panel members and to make all AV requests within each proposal.

In addition to traditional paper panels, the conference will include several “Year in Review” sessions in which a small panel will present observations about the most significant texts in a given area before inviting audience discussion. Individual panels will cover SF Scholarship, SF in Print, SF Film, SF Television, SF Games. Anyone interested in serving on one of these panels should contact the Conference Coordinator.

For the first time, SFRA 2010 will offer three pre-conference “Short Courses” the morning of the conference’s first day. One will examine teaching science fiction in higher education, one will provide interested scholars a primer on studying digital science fiction, and the third will offer students (and anyone else interested) an orientation to science fiction scholarship.

The conference is open to other non-traditional programming suggestions that take advantage of an in-person gathering of science fiction scholars.

E-mail submissions as attached files by April 30, 2010 to Conference Coordinator Craig Jacobsen: jacobsen at mesacc dot edu

Ongoing submission acceptances will be issued to better allow presenters to plan.

The conference will run June 24-27, 2010. Visit the conference website at www.sfra2010.ning.com. Rather than a static site, this year’s conference web presence is a social network designed to allow attendees (and those considering) to join, network before during and after the conference, and collaborate in the construction of the conference. Sign up even if you are not sure whether you’ll attend.

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