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SF and Communism 2019 : 2nd Science Fiction and Communism Conference


When Mar 1, 2019 - Mar 3, 2019
Where Bulgaria
Submission Deadline Jan 27, 2019
Notification Due Jan 31, 2019
Final Version Due Feb 27, 2019
Categories    SF   communism   cold war   transnationalism

Call For Papers

The American University in Bulgaria, in collaboration with Sofia University, is pleased to announce a call for papers for the second edition of the “Science Fiction and Communism Conference” 1-3 March 2019, Blagoevgrad

LAST YEAR we proposed a discussion within an analytical framework connecting the narratives of future in Science Fiction and the political reality of the Cold war. The final selection included 22 papers from 14 countries, covering a wide range of thematically and geographically diverse topics, including talks from science fiction (SF) experts Darko Suvin, Helena Goscilo and Miglena Nikolchina. The result was an interdisciplinary discussion which expanded the topic of the conference, pointing out that we can read the communist politics in and around SF, as much as the opposite - SF was a genre of relative freedom allowing certain degree of ideological resistance. Furthermore, the political appropriations of the future go beyond the Eastern block and are an integral part of the, then “western” culture, thus entangling the genre of futuristic stories in a global system of competing values.

While we have titled the conference “Communism” we very much agree that the communist system was part of a global regime of political division, thus we are welcoming papers on topics from both east and west.

The discussion is not limited to the strict literary and artistic genre SF. In the Slavic languages the term fantastika serves as an all-encompassing concept for everything futuristic, fairytale, fantasy, weird fiction, and so on and in 2007 HHH proposed the concept to be used as a broader category. In a similar way we want to include various practices of projecting the future beyond the limits of the SF genre. However, Darko Suvin argues that SF stands out for its social commentary and Ray Bradbury claims that “fantasy is fairytales and SF concerns reality”, thus we invite proposals concerning practices and narratives of the future which reflect the reality of the Communist regime and the Cold war.

In the second year of the conference we continue to explore the various instances of entanglement between fictional and cultural text, political and imaginative realities. We seek proposals looking at the political and cultural inferences in SF and other imaginative futurescapes in film, literature, architecture, science, politics, etc. and the global political divide (the Cold War and beyond). The conference is open to all disciplines, approaches and methods. We are welcoming researchers, practitioners and students.

Papers with agenda of a transnational dissemination or exchange of Science Fiction novels or movies, are particularly welcome.

The conference intends also to highlight topics related to the Science-fiction tropes, motifs, and narratives within space conquest and alien encounters-related discourses.

COMING UP this fall is a web site of the conference with uploaded videos and papers from the conference. You will be able to watch and read all presentations as well as have your presentation published online with this year’s conference.

Please send your proposals for papers, panels and/or presentations (CV, abstract of 300 – 500 words) to Yulia Pechanova at

Conference language for presentations and discussions will be English.

Presentations should last no more than 20 minutes and be open to discussion afterwards.

We would like to encourage panel organizers to engage in innovative presentation and discussion formats.

Deadline for application is January 27th.

The applicants with accepted papers will be informed by January 31th 2019.

Participants are responsible for their own traveling and accommodation arrangements.

For questions regarding the organization, please contact: Yulia Pechanova at

Deadline: January 27th 2019
Submit your abstract of 300-500 words via email
Put "ABSTRACT: Science Fiction Conference" in the subject line of the email.
Include a brief biographical statement (max. 150 words) in the email.

We encourage interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives including, but not limited to the following subjects:
Science Fiction as a socio-political commentary;
Utopia and dystopia - imagined political realities;
Gender and (in) Science Fiction
Comparisons between the "Eastern" and "Western" Science Fiction visions of “the future”;
Flows of Science Fiction images, texts and ideas across the Iron curtain;
Borders, walls, and the Iron Curtain
The space races and its cultural representations
International institutions and trans-national networks
Visual megatexts of the future, new technologies and the new man;
Correlations between communist Science Fiction and the communist modernization project as an alternative to capitalist modernity.
In addition to individual paper submissions, we especially encourage abstracts for thematic panels and round table proposals. Proposals for complete panels (three or four related presentations) must include an abstract, contact information, and a short CV for each presenter.

No registration fee for the conference; open to the public.
Conference will open on Friday, March 1 in Sofia, and sessions will continue until noon on Sunday, March 3.
Conference sessions will be held in the campus of the American University in Bulgaria in Blagoevgrad, allowing for playing of DVDs, CDs, and PowerPoints. Include a note in your email if you need any other form of media.
Attendees who are not giving papers are encouraged to register for the conference mailing list by sending an email to Yulia Pechanova at and putting "INFORMATION REQUEST: Science Fiction and Communism Conference in the subject line of the email.
Transportation from Sofia to Blagoevgrad will be organized by the host
Contact Info:
American University in Bulgaria 1-3 March 2019, Blagoevgrad

Dr Emiliya Karaboeva (; Ralitsa Konstantinova (

Contact Email:
Categories: Conference, CFP
Keywords: CFP (Conference), Science Fiction, communism

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