2014 Global SF Workshop

“International & Minority Science Fiction in a Global World”

This workshop in science fiction and the humanities will focus on the importance of sf from global cultures and subcultures as a creative and scholarly context for discussions of artistic, ethical, and political issues of our time.

In the U.S., contemporary Anglo-American sf traditions generally overshadow other cultural traditions that have contributed to our shared imaginaries of a global future. In this workshop we propose to explore histories and varieties of the science fictional, and to call into question the traditional iconography of mainstream sf, by way of presentations on and discussions of international and U.S. minority traditions. While recent sf scholarship has focused critically on imperialism and the colonial enterprise, more general exploration of traditions and cultures outside the Anglo-American context has been lacking. Our discussions will showcase the global diversity of sf, and the unrecognized diversity of American traditions of the field.

The Workshop is the first event organized by the nascent Science Fiction Working Group, an interdisciplinary group of UF faculty and graduate students with research and teaching interests in the full range of historical and contemporary sf. Long-term goals for the Working Group include regular workshops and symposia and the general promotion of sf studies at UF, including the establishment of curricular tracks in the field.

Format and audience participation. Workshop sessions will begin with statement papers of no more than 25 minutes in length, based on or related to previously circulated recommended readings, followed by moderated questions from and exchanges with the audience. Maximum audience participation will be encouraged. Our aim is to engage the presenters, moderators, and the audience in lively debate about the role(s) of sf in contemporary society and how we, as researchers and teachers, can make use of sf to promote and sustain discussions of the place and future of humanistic inquiry in a technological world.

All workshop events are free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, the UF Departments of English and Spanish and Portuguese Studies, the UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, and the George A. Smathers Libraries.