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Speculative Fiction Outside the Anglosphere

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Organizer: Ian Campbell

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This seminar will discuss works of SF, broadly defined, that were originally published in languages other than English. The question we will discuss is how a particular text uses diction, grammar or rhetorical trope in its original language, and/or the history, mythology, literature or other tropes of its native culture, in order to perform a critique through estrangement of political, cultural or socioeconomic conditions in the country or region where the work is set or was published. How does the work adapt (cognitive) estrangement in a manner particular to its culture?


The ideal paper will do one or more of the following: 1) address at least one work available in English translation; 2) include scholarship in the original language on the work and/or on SF; 3) relate the work to one other text, preferably one not available in English; 4) perform a close reading of its primary text, involving its original language, in such a manner as to make clear to those who do not know that language how one or more particular aspects of the text performs or enhances (or critiques) an estrangement of its nation or culture; 5) show how the work engages in nuance or critique of Western hegemony, SF or SF theory. These characteristics should serve as guidelines, not demands.


Participants from all stages of academic careers, including graduate students, are welcome and encouraged to submit. The end goal of this seminar is to publish many of the papers in the form of a symposium in a late 2020 or early 2021 issue of SFRA Review, the journal of the Science Fiction Research Association. 


As part of the runup to the seminar, we will be curating a list of the works available in English translation. Seminar participants will be encouraged to create and circulate synopses of the work(s) they intend to address well in advance of the seminar itself, in order that our regrettably limited time together might be spent on analysis and discussion rather than summary.

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