Science Fiction Research Association
is the oldest professional association dedicated to scholarly inquiry into Science Fiction and the Fantastic across all media.
Mike Levy's Passing
The SFRA is saddened to note the passing of past President Michael Levy. Mike was an important member of the Association, having served not only as President, but as Vice President and organizer or co-organizer of several SFRA conferences. In 2007 he was awarded SFRA's Thomas D. Clareson Award for service to the field of science fiction studies. He was a respected scholar, reviewer, and editor, and an important mentor to many in the field. We will miss his generous contributions and his unfailing kindness.
The 2017 SFRA conference will be held at the Marriott Riverside at the Convention Center and hosted by University of California, Riverside (UCR). The home of the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, UCR also runs the Speculative Fictions and Cultures of Science graduate program and has a robust research community focused on speculative fiction across media.
Our keynote speaker is author Nnedi Okorafor, writer of fantasy, sf, and speculative fiction. Sf author Ted Chiang will also be in attendance for a special screening of Arrival (2016, dir. Denis Villeneuve), which is based on Chiang's short story "Story of Your Life." A Q&A with Chiang will follow the screening.
The conference theme will be Unknown Pasts / Unseen Futures. This theme grows out of the 2016 conference, whose conversations reminded us that there is so much about the history of science fiction that has yet to be sufficiently addressed in scholarship, including marginalized or otherwise neglected bodies of work. The future of scholarship in the field can be opened up to new possibilities through this return to under examined elements in our genre’s past, opening it up to futures that are as-yet unanticipated in existing fictional and scholarly visions. This conference theme also reflects UCR’s commitment to science fiction scholarship that is focused on imagining and creating sustainable and inclusive futures. Thus our focus is equally on new voices in the field and the new kinds of futures that emerge from this broader sense of the field’s membership.
In her acceptance speech as she received the National Book Foundation’s medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters, Ursula K. Le Guin reminded us of the importance of the speculative imagination: such visions can help us recognize that social and political structures of our present are only one option among many rather than inevitable formations. In this spirit, we invite papers that explore science fiction’s pasts from innovative perspectives and that focus on its power to envision alternative futures that are more than just the intensification of urgent problems of the present, such as environmental crisis, climate change, and growing economic inequality.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
Please send proposals of 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31, 2017. Proposals should include your name and affiliation, and be accompanied by a brief bibliography. Proposals can be made for pre-constituted panels and these must include email addresses for all proposed speakers. The CFP can be downloaded here.
Notification of acceptance will be sent by early April.
Continuing a new SFRA initiative, our program on June 28 will be specifically addressed to graduate students and will include sessions on career professionalization.
All attendees at any SFRA-related event are expected to adhere to the SFRA Code of Conduct, which can be found here.
Information about registration, conference location, travel, and accommodation can be found here.