The final program for the 2018 conference is available here: SFRA 18 Program for Web.pdf


Sunday, July 1- Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)

Conference Theme: The Future of Labor


Peter Frase (author of Four Futures)

Rebekah Sheldon (author of The Child to Come)

The Science Fiction Research Association invites proposals for its 2018 annual conference, to be held on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. In keeping with Milwaukee's long history as a site of labor activism and union struggle, including the famous Bay View Massacre of protestors striking for the eight-hour-workday and the longest Socialist mayoral tenure in US history—as well as ongoing and increasingly urgent global concerns about the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and autonomous robots—the overarching theme of SFRA 2018 will be “The Future of Labor.” When machines think and work—at speeds and efficiencies humans cannot match, and perhaps can no longer even understand—what will become of human beings?

Possible subtopics might include:

  • ·               artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithmic culture;
  • ·               the rise of the machines; automation and labor;
  • ·               the Singularity;
  • ·               drone warfare;
  • ·               automated and robotic care labor;
  • ·               the gig economy and hyperexploitiation;
  • ·               hyperexploitation and technology in the academy;
  • ·               automation and the digital economy;
  • ·               automation and the environment, especially climate change;
  • ·               automation and disability;
  • ·               automation and race, gender, sexuality, and class;
  • ·               nonhuman labor and nonhuman laborers;
  • ·               genetic manipulation, computer prosthesis, and other modes of cognitive enhancement;
  • ·               games, gamificiation, and other brainhacks;
  • ·               universal basic income and other modes of postcapitalism;
  • ·               the politics of artificial intelligence, utopian, dystopian, and otherwise;
  • ·               representations of nonhuman, robotic, artificially intelligent, and postcapitalist labor across the last two centuries of science fiction texts.

Of course we also welcome papers on topics relevant to science fiction research broadly conceived that are not specifically related to the conference theme.

Graduate students are encouraged to apply and attend; as with previous SFRA conferences, the first day of conference programming will include roundtables and workshops devoted to targeted at early-career teachers and researchers working in SF studies and in the study of popular culture more generally.

300-500 word abstracts should be sent to by March 30, 2018. Alternatively, you can submit them through this Google Form. Notification of acceptance will occur by April 15, 2018. We also welcome submission of preconstituted panels and roundtables.

Questions concerning the call for papers can be directed to with the subject line “CFP QUESTION,” or to the conference’s local organizers, Gerry Canavan (Marquette University, and Peter Sands (UWM,

Science Fiction Research Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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