Disruptive Imaginations 

Joint Annual Conference of SFRA and GfF

TU Dresden, Germany, August 15-19, 2023

The societies invite papers on all forms and genres of science fiction and the fantastic in relation to the paradigm of disruption, including but not limited to literature, music, film, games, design, and art. Presentations may be held either in English or German. They strive for a diversity of voices and perspectives from any and all disciplines and career stages. While papers on any subject in SFF are welcome, they especially encourage topics that resonate with the overall conference theme and that engage disruptive imaginations along axes that include but are not limited to:


  • SFF imagination under conditions of disruption, e.g., energy crisis; toxicity; climate disruption; war; colonialism; dis/ability and ableism; trauma; white supremacy
  • SFF imagination against disruption, e.g., resilience; worldmaking; utopia; decolonization and restitution; cultural healing; kinship; critical and co-futurisms (African and Afro-futurisms, Indigenous Futurisms, Queer and Trans Futurisms, Crip Futurisms, LatinX Futurisms,…)
  • SFF imagination in need of disruption, e.g., SFF and systems of oppression; the energy unsconious of SFF; transhumanism and eugenics; SFF tropes/histories/conventions of white supremacy, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and technological solutionism
  • SFF imagination as a force of disruption, e.g., SFF in/as activism; emancipatory forms of SFF publishing (e.g., Destroy! Series); the cultural/bodily/social/political/aesthetic/ecological impact of SFF; SFF as medium of political subversion and agitation; alt-right utilization of SFF rhetoric
  • SFF imagination of disruption, e.g., ruptures of space and time; geoengineering; gene editing; hacking; revolution; border crossings, unsettling of hierarchies, chimeras and hybrids, creative technologies and alternative communication media


Proposal for individual presentations, panels, or non-traditional formats (roundtable, artistic research, participatory formats, etc.) are welcome, in English or German. For individual presentation, we ask for an abstract of 300 words and a short bio (150 words). For preformed panels we require a proposal (single file) that includes a 300 word summary of the panel topic, abstracts of 200 words for each contribution, and bio notes (150 words) for all participants. Please send all submissions to disruptive.imaginations@tu-dresden.de by March 1, 2023. Options for limited hybrid participation will be available. More information will be supplied soon on our conference website www.disruptiveimaginations.com.


Both organizations give out a limited number of travel grants to help students, PhD candidates and non-tenured participants with their expenses: SFRA members are eligible to apply for travel grants of up to 500$; the GfF offers four travel grants of 250€ each, membership not required. Please indicate your interest upon submitting your abstract.



The 2023 conference for the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI) will be hosted by the Literature and Science Hub at the University of Liverpool, 29 August to 1 September. ASLE-UKI welcomes participation from scholars, readers, and creative practitioners interested in the relationships between literatures, environments and cultures – past, present, or future – from anywhere in the world.

The theme of the 2023 conference is “Transitions“. Keynote speakers include: Brycchan Carey, Nandini Das, Caroline Edwards, Graeme MacDonald, Chris Pak, and Craig Santos Perez. 

n addition to relatively traditional academic formats we wish to encourage experimental modes of presentation including creative proposals. Possible formats include:

  • individual scholarly or creative-critical papers of 20 minutes
  • preformed panels comprising three or four papers/dialogues/conversations/performances
  • round table discussion panels with three to five participants

Please submit proposals via the following links. Include contact details, brief bios, and an abstract of up to 300 words by 1st June 2023.

Visit the conference website for further details.

Theatre about Science: Theory and Practice9-11 November, University of Coimbra, PortugalFollowing the fantastic meeting we had last year, we invite you to meet again in Coimbra next year, for the Theatre About Science Conference 2023.We welcome contributions ranging from the performing arts to the communication of science, and of diverse nature - from academic to practical research and performance. We also welcome contributions exploring connections of theatre with formal, natural, health and social sciences.We encourage participants from all over the globe, with the aim of mapping and expanding the network of people working in this interdisciplinary field.You can find more detailed information, as well as submit your proposals, in the following link: www.theatreaboutscience.com


Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/yisr20/current) invites members of the BSLS to consider the journal as a venue for your research. ISR’s purpose is to exemplify proactively interdisciplinary research across the humanities, arts, social, natural and artificial sciences.

The journal publishes both unsolicited articles and thematic issues, including one on literature and science forthcoming in 2023.


Aims and Scope


Interdisciplinary Science Reviews has, for more than 40 years, been a forum where interdisciplinary research between the natural sciences, the arts and humanities can be reviewed and discussed. ISR publishes work which explores the nature, possibilities and challenges of interdisciplinary research and practice with the aim of promoting constructive dialogue between and across multiple fields of study.

ISR’s purpose is not to say what interdisciplinarity is but to exhibit what happens when researchers start from one discipline and expand into others. We look for research that attempts to find or negotiate mutually comprehensible terms between different intellectual cultures, making as explicit as possible the different assumptions inherent to them. We acknowledge that interdisciplinary research is neither singular in method nor standpoint but fundamentally diverse. Therefore, we seek not to reify ‘interdisciplinarity’ as an unquestioned good, but rather to provide a venue for conversations that struggle to find homes in strictly disciplinary spaces. Likewise, ISR stretches ‘science’ to the limits of scientia (‘knowledge’), exploring the work of many disciplines from multiple perspectives. The aim is not the convergence of disciplines, or a unified science, but conversation that respects as well as illuminates disciplinary differences. The similarities, where they hold under rigorous examination, are where we begin, not end.

A submission to ISR must be proactive in its pursuit of interdisciplinary dialogue. Submissions that merely take a concept, theory or technique from one field and uncritically apply it to another without unpacking its assumptions and considering the implications will be rejected. Because of ISR’s interdisciplinary audience, submissions need to use language that is easily grasped by readers outside the author’s discipline.

ISR’s cover image, ‘Two men discussing coming hunt’ (1961), by Inuit artist Qabaroak Qaisiya of Kinngait (formerly Cape Dorset), Nunavut, Canada, communicates what the journal promotes: the collaborative attempt to communicate and make real across that which separates (and therefore nurtures) separate disciplines. Qaisiya’s conjuring of the two hunters’ shared mind makes us attend to the betweenness of a relation within which something is realised.



Professor Willard McCarty (Editor, ISR; King’s College London)

Dr Tara Mahfoud (Assistant Editor, ISR; University of Essex)

The eighteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will be held at Edinburgh Napier University, Thursday 13 April - Saturday 15 April 2023.


Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Laurence Talairach (University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès) andProfessor John Holmes (Birmingham).


The BSLS invites proposals for 20-minute papers, panels, workshops, or special roundtables on any intersections between the fields of science (including medicine, technology) and those of literatures in the broadest sense (including theatre, film, and television). We particularly encourage proposals engaging with interdisciplinary fields such as environmental humanities, or focussed on early-career and post-graduate researcher professional development. We welcome work from all periods and countries.


The conference will be held in-person and will have capacity for online attendance. Proposals for papers delivered remotely will be considered (up to 30% of the conference).


BSLS Membership: conference delegates will need to register or renew as members of the BSLS (annual membership: £25 waged/ £10 unwaged).


The BSLS will pay the registration for two PGR attendees, who will be expected to provide newsletter articles describing their experiences of the conference. PGRs interested in pursuing this funding should indicate this along with the submission of their proposals.


Please email proposals of up to 300 words to bsls2023@napier.ac.uk by Monday 5 December 2022, together with a 50-70 word biographical note (or in the case of a panel, abstracts and notes for each speaker). Send abstracts and notes in the body of messages; do not use attachments. Lastly, state whether you will attend in-person or wish to present remotely (via Teams). Please answer as realistically as you can (we can’t guarantee to accommodate changes of mind later).


Please address queries to Dr Emily Alder at bsls2023@napier.ac.uk


BSLS Winter Symposium 2022

The Subterranean Anthropocene: Excavation, Extracting, Uncovering
From Classical to Contemporary Literature

12 November 2022 — Online via Zoom

Keynotes TBA

“Blue marble” images of earth are often synonymous with environmental campaigns and anthropocentric thinking. But by always thinking of earth from above, have we forgotten earth from below? In recent discussions of the Anthropocene, geographers Maria de Lourdes Melo Zurita, Paul George Munro, and Donna Houston argue that “the role of the underground has been discursively absent from contemporary debates about the Anthropocene”, reminding us that “the challenges of the Anthropocene are very much entangled with the underground’s past, present and future” (2018).

By excavating the subterranean, we can unearth long-held ideologies of knowledge, value, memory, and fear. And literature has long engaged with this too. The subterranean in fiction, from Dante’s Inferno, to Alice’s descent into Wonderland, to Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, represents underground space in myriad ways - as the stratification of the mind, as encountering the repressed, as the invisible labour of the working classes. Literary analysis, too, engages with a subterranean vocabulary of “mining” meaning, of processes of “discovering”, “uncovering”, and “bringing to light”. The specialisation of the sciences across the nineteenth century popularised the idea of the “quest narrative” being a process of seeking truth underground, as geology, palaeontology, anthropology, archaeology and new ideas about “deep time” located epistemologies beneath the surface, yet literature on both sides of this period imagines underlands as spaces of knowledge, history, value, and fear. This symposium will uncover the subterranean anxieties present in the intersection of literature and science and unbury narratives of extraction, depths, delving, and excavation.


The BSLS Winter Symposium will be free and open to all. We welcome 20 minute papers and panels of 3-4 speakers. We particularly encourage submissions from PGRs and ECRs. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following themes and their intersections with science and literature:


  • Mining, minerals, and extraction
  • Tunnelling and travelling underground
  • The subaquatic subterranean
  • Water and ice subterranea
  • Soil, plantlife, roots, fungi
  • Oil, gas and ‘petrofictions’
  • Excavation, uncovering, unearthing
  • Burials and disinterring, bones, fossils
  • Stone, geology, caves
  • Subterranean life - mammals, birds, insects, aquatic life, worms
  • Subterranean, ‘centre of the earth’, and hollow earth fiction
  • Subterranean ‘hell’ and the afterlife



Please email your bio(s) and abstract(s) to BSLSSymposium2022@gmail.com no later than Sep 30th 2022. Please limit each abstract to 250 words and each bio to 150 words.

The Journal of Literature and Science http://www.literatureandscience.org is looking for reviewers to review various articles published in the last year to 18 months in the field of literature and science.

Please find below a number of articles that we would like to offer for review. It's largely first come, first served, so do get in touch with an offer to review a specific article by emailing Michelle Geric at m.geric@westminster.ac.uk

JLS would also be very happy to receive suggestions for other relevant articles for review that aren’t listed below.

Reviews should be 750 words long. For more details, please follow the link: http://www.literatureandscience.org or contact Michelle at gericm@westminster.ac.uk to register your interest.


SUGGESTED ARTICLES: Read the rest of this entry »

SF and Societal Vulnerability: Fragility, Collapse, and Transformation (Deadline for Abstracts: 15 September)

COVID showed us what we already knew, how fragile global capitalist societies are and how unresilient they become when the structures get shocked. Some of those structures deserve to be destroyed (authoritarianism, nationalism, racism, colonialism, labor exploitation, e.g.); others need to be shored up or replaced with even better institutions and practices (healthcare, the planetary ecosystem, wealth equity, social justice, e.g.). When these fragile structures fail, their failures disproportionately affect those least able to bear the harm. And, around the world, the harmful effects of exploitative structures are repeatedly discriminatorily directed.


The mass media, as well as scholars and activists from varied disciplines and fields, are already critiquing the “post-COVID” “return to normal” for its failure to emerge from the early years of the pandemic into a world that deliberately and substantially functions differently and better. The future in which we live is going to be made from the present. In all its forms, Speculative fiction has long imagined–more and less plausibly–where we go from here. It isn’t the only literature that does so (so-called realist fiction may focus more on the “here,” but it’s also interested in what’s next). How does fiction depict and engage with societal fragility/lack of resiliency? How does literature imagine alternative, adaptable, and more durable social formations and institutions?  


We seek literary critical engagements with alternatives and responses to authortarian/nationalistic/miliaristic political structures arising during the Anthropocene as well as speculative alternatives to the necessary social institutions that are more just, effective, and sustainible. COVID reminds us of what has always been true: our social structures are imperfect; literature, throughout history, has been imagining alternatives. Our hope is to assemble a collection of demonstrations and interventions that explicitly engage readers in calls to action.


Possible topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Ecocriticism
  • Ecopunk and solar punk
  • Climate justice
  • Extraction studies
  • Futurism 
  • Animal studies
  • Posthumanism (and all the other prefixes)
  • Utopian studies
  • Race and ethnic studies
  • Decolonization
  • Queer/Queering ecologies


Please send abstracts of up to 500 words in length, along with a brief bio of up to 200 words, to jonelmore.english@gmail.com and jennihalpin@gmail.com no later than September 15, 2022, with full chapters to be submitted by March 15, 2023. Most chapters will be in the 6000 to 8000 word range, but we are happy to see well-made arguments of any length. Queries always welcome.


Fully funded doctoral studentship: Black and Indigenous Collectors in the Material and Digital Archive

How did Black and Indigenous people shape eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century knowledge about the natural world? Birkbeck, University of London and the Linnean Society are pleased to announce a fully funded doctoral award to start in Oct 2022. The successful applicant will carry out research on rich archives covering trans-Atlantic networks, investigating the lives of Black and Indigenous individuals crucial to the production of natural knowledge during this period of colonialism and Empire. The final PhD topic will be decided by the successful applicant, in conversation with supervisors, and can cover research into eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century topics.

Qualification type: PhD

Location: Birkbeck, University of London/the Linnean Society of London

Funding for: UK Students / International Students full and part-time study (visa permitting)

Funding amount: The studentship is subject to UKRI eligibility criteria, and will cover home or international fees and stipend at UKRI rates for a maximum of four years full-time, or seven years part-time study, subject to institutional regulations.

AHRC stipend: for the academic year 2021-22, the stipend will be £18,612 with London weighting. This project also comes with additional funds for national and international travel costs relating to the project, and additional funds to organize public events. Please note: the stipend funding amount typically increases with inflation each academic year.

Closes: Monday 13 June 2022, 5pm For full details and to apply, see: https://www.chase.ac.uk/cdas/black-and-indigenous-collectors or email Dr Emily Senior e.senior@bbk.ac.uk











An Online EventProposals due by 30 June

The Winter Symposium is an annual PGR/ECR-led event, with a specific theme proposed by the organisers. This year, the BSLS members at the annual conference expressed particular interest in

·       the Anthropocene,

·       the Material,

·       the Visual, or

·       Translation.


While proposals focused on one of these themes would be particularly welcomed, we encourage potential organisers to move forward with any theme associated with literature and science.

Proposals are invited from postgraduates, and from early career researchers who were recently postgraduates, for a one-day online event on a discrete theme to take place in or around November 2022.

Proposals should be no longer than two sides of A4, and should include a description of the event, details of the organisers, potential speakers (if known) and types of papers, panels or other sessions to be included.

The symposium might also cover research training and career advice alongside showcasing ongoing research. It is hoped that each event will have a ‘non-conference’ feel, and include different types of papers, panels, and ways of sharing knowledge.

The BSLS Executive Committee will support the organisers throughout the process in both administrative and technical matters.

The BSLS will award around £500 in support of the symposium, which should be free to attend if possible.


Proposals should be emailed to Rachel Murray (RachelEMurray@sheffield.ac.uk) by the 30th of June.

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