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When Oct 17, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
Where Los Angeles
Submission Deadline May 1, 2024
Notification Due Jun 1, 2024
Categories    media studies   film studies   science fiction   fantasy

Call For Papers

2024 marks the 40th anniversary of THE TERMINATOR (1984). Legendary producer Gale Anne Hurd co-wrote THE TERMINATOR, a film that launched a multi-media franchise. Through her long and distinguished career as a writer and producer, Hurd brought many iconic Women heroes, Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley (ALIENS, 1986), Aeon Flux (AEON FLUX, 2005), and Michonne (THE WALKING DEAD, 2010–2022) to the screen. This year’s Speculative Fiction Across Media (SFAM) conference celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of Gale Anne Hurd and all the women creators of speculative fiction in the long history of sf film, television, literature, comics, radio, video games, fandom, and any other media. SFAM is located in Southern California and sponsored by UC Riverside, Cal State LA, and the University of Zurich.

Another excellent moment for celebration is the 100th anniversary of AELITA: QUEEN OF MARS by Soviet director Yakov Protazanov. Based on Alexei Tolstoy’s 1923 novel of the same name, AELITA is not only one of the earliest feature-length sf films, but also arguably the first in which a woman character, the eponymous Aelita, plays a major role. As such it is an excellent starting point for thinking more generally about the role of women in the history of sf media.

Women have been major creators of sf since the genre’s beginning and have played a major role in sf media of all types, in sf fandom, and in sf scholarship. We welcome papers that address women’s contributors to speculative genres in any form. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- Women authors, from the pulp work of Leslie F. Stone and C(atherine) L(ucille) Moore, to second wave era work by authors such as Joanna Russ and Ursula K. Le Guin, to celebrated recent authors such as Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, Kameron Hurley, Malinda Lo and more
- Media adaptations of sf by women authors
- Women screenplay authors, such as Leigh Brackett, Melissa Mathison, Lisa Joy, Natalie Chaidez, and Michelle Lovretta
- Women showrunners of sf television, including Marti Noxon, Sera Gamble, and Laeta Kalogridis
- Screen queens, from AELITA to the robot Maria of METROPOLIS (1927) to Jane Fonda’s Barbarella
- Stereotype-breaking women protagonists, including STAR TREK’S Uhura, Terminator’s Sarah Connor, and ALIEN’S Ripley, and the heroic women who have followed, often revising other franchises such as MAD MAX’S Furiosa
- Women’s contributions to sf aesthetics as production designers, set designers, and costume designers such as Deborah Landis (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), Ngila Dickson (LORD OF THE RINGS), and Ruth E. Carter (BLACK PANTHER, WAKANDA FOREVER), Deborah L. Scott (MINORITY REPORT, AVATAR 1,2,3) Judianna Makovsky (PLEASANTVILLE, THE HUNGER GAMES).
- Women protagonists of comic books and their adaptations, including Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel, Harley Quinn.
- Women directors of sf such as Lizzie Borden, Kathryn Bigelow, and Patty Jenkins.
- Women creatives who have expanded and reoriented major franchise ‘worlds’ in the transmedia era, such as Deborah Chow (THE MANDALORIAN, OBI-WAN KENOBI), Kate Herron (LOKI), and Nia DaCosta (THE MARVELS) among many others.
- Countless graphic novels by women authors such as Louise Simonson, G. Willow Wilson, Marjane Satrapi, Nalo Hopkinson, and Nnedi Okorafor.
- Video games that feature Women protagonists, and those that feature writing by women, such as the award-winning video games Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017) and Horizon: Forbidden West (2022).
- Women’s roles in fandom, including fan creative works, the community-building work of convention organization, and traditions in fan commentary and criticism.

We invite papers that address any aspects of speculative fiction across media, and especially those that focus on women’s multiple contributions to the genre for our inaugural conference to be held October 17–19 2024 in Los Angeles.

Please e-mail us your 300–500-word abstract, accompanied by a short CV, to by May 1. Acceptance notices will be returned by June 1.

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