Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MLA SF/F-Related Sessions

If you happen to be headed to the Modern Language Association Convention in Austin, TX for the next few days: I envy you. And, if you've an interest in SF/F, here's a list of sessions that might interest you, pulled from the official program:

Thursday Jan. 7

Milton and His Postmodern Heirs: Paradise Lost in Fiction and Film
1:45–3:00 p.m., 18A, ACC
Presiding: Laura L. Knoppers, Univ. of Notre Dame
  1. "Language and the Fall in Paradise Lost and China Miéville's Embassytown," Lara A. Dodds, Mississippi State Univ.
  2. "'Of Things Invisible to Mortal Sight': Paradise Lost and the Question of Filmability," Christopher Koester, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
  3. "Angels and Aliens: Milton's Science Fiction Film Legacy from Dark City (1998) to Noah (2014)," Ryan Hackenbracht, Texas Tech Univ.
How Stellar Got Its Groove Back: Feminist Voices in Diasporic Afrofuturism
1:45–3:00 p.m., 5C, ACC
Presiding: Ian MacDonald, Wittenberg Univ.
  1.  "Troubling Ecology: Wangechi Mutu, Afrofuturism, and Black Feminist Interventions in Western Environmentalism," Chelsea Frazier, Northwestern Univ.
  2. "(Re)Envisioning the Past: Resisting Genre and Revisiting History in the Science Fiction of Okorafor and Kahiu," Amanda Rico, Northwestern Univ.
  3. "Symbols of Africa in Science Fiction by Black Women," Sandra Marie Grayson, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  4. "Tananarive Due’s The Between and the Disruption of the Ancestral Cycle," Venetria Kirsten Patton, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette
Visualizing Regions
1:45–3:00 p.m., 407, JW Marriott
Presiding: Brandi So, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York
  1. "Expanding Vistas, Queering Tourism: Landscape Art in the Works of Sarah Orne Jewett," J. Samaine Lockwood, George Mason Univ.
  2. "Reading below the (Bible) Belt: Theology and Ekphrasis in Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor," Brandi So
  3. "Geographies of Oz: L. Frank Baum, Travel, and Colonized Spaces," Craig Svonkin, Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver
  4. "Visioning Oceania with John Kneubuhl and Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl," Cheryl D. Edelson, Chaminade Univ.; Stanley D. Orr, Univ. of Hawai‘i, West O‘ahu
Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Comparing Doris Lessing's Historical and Speculative Fiction
7:00–8:15 p.m., 4A, ACC
Presiding: Dorian Stuber, Hendrix Coll.
  1. "Comparative Empires: Diaspora and Hybridity in Children of Violence and Canopus in Argos," Linda Weinhouse, Community Coll. of Baltimore County, MD
  2. "In Pursuit of the Welfare State: Doris Lessing and Intervention," Lisa Jeanne Fluet, Coll. of the Holy Cross
  3. "After Aldermaston: Doris Lessing and the Problem of Revolution in the Nuclear Age," Mark Pedretti, Case Western Reserve Univ.
  4. "Looking Forward: The Speculative Realisms of Doris Lessing and David Mitchell," Robin E. Visel, Furman Univ.
For abstracts, visit


Friday Jan. 8

Cli-Fi: Climate Change and Narrative Fiction
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 409, JW Marriott
Presiding: Wai Chee Dimock, Yale Univ.
  1. "Ecocatastrophic Nightmares in Recent Experimental Fiction," Courtney Traub, Univ. of Oxford
  2. "Climate-Change Fiction and the Future Anterior," Richard Crownshaw, Goldsmiths, Univ. of London
  3. "Genre and Atmotechnics—Cli-Fi Performativity?" Derek Woods, Rice Univ.
Myth, Fairy Tales, and Their Adaptations
1:45–3:00 p.m., 306, JW Marriott
Presiding: Kay F. Turner, New York Univ.
  1. "Snow White and the Transnational Circulation of Race and History in Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird," Kimberly J. Lau, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
  2. "Translating Russian Folklore into Soviet Fantasy: From Arkadi and Boris Strugatski’s Monday Begins on Saturday (1977) to Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless (2011)," Katherine Magyarody, Univ. of Toronto
  3. "Shifting Performances of Femininity in Kij Johnson’s Retelling of Japanese Tales," Luciana Cardi, Osaka Univ.
  4. "Adapting the Unadaptable Woman: The Witch Reimagined in Performance," Kay F. Turner
Heavens Above: Envisioning Religion in Science Fiction
3:30–4:45 p.m., 8C, ACC
Presiding: Liam Corley, California State Polytechnic Univ., Pomona
  1.  "Deciphering the 'Author’s Signature': Religious Science Fiction and Carl Sagan’s Good News," Christopher Douglas, Univ. of Victoria
  2. "Once and Future Edens: Genesis in the Era of Pulp Science Fiction," Alexandria Gray, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  3. "Milton's 'Other Worlds': The Fall in Science Fiction from Asimov to Atwood," Ryan Hackenbracht, Texas Tech Univ.
Responding: Everett Hamner, Western Illinois Univ.


Saturday Jan. 9

Gender in Young Adult Dystopias
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 10A, ACC
Presiding: Madelyn Detloff, Miami Univ., Oxford; Ian MacDonald, Wittenberg Univ.
  1. "'Black and Fat': Deviant Gendered Bodies in Patrick Ness’s More Than This," Erin Michelle Kingsley, King Univ.
  2. "'A New History': Alternate Constructions of Gender and Kinship in Queer Dystopian Literature," Angel Matos, Univ. of Notre Dame
  3. "Mother of Revolution: The Failure of Self-Sacrifice in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games," Bethany Jacobs, Univ. of Oregon
  4. "Dystopian Feelings: Disciplining Affect in The Hunger Games and Divergent," Sarah Sillin, Gettysburg Coll.
Dystopia and Race in Contemporary American Literature
10:15–11:30 a.m., 4A, ACC
Presiding: Francisco Delgado, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York
  1. "The Direction from Which the People Will Come: Shifting International Borders in Leslie Marmon Silko and Karen Tei Yamashita," Francisco Delgado
  2. "Sickness and Cities: Octavia Butler, Speculative Fiction, and the Rise of Neoliberalism," Myka Tucker-Abramson, Univ. of Warwick
  3. "Redrawing Race Relations: The Use of the Graphic Novel to Rewrite American History," Scott Zukowski, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York
  4. "Which Faction Are You? The (Dis)Abled Coding of Race in Divergent," Jennifer Polish, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
Nineteenth-Century Science Fiction
5:15–6:30 p.m., 8B, ACC
Presiding: Nicole Lobdell, Georgia Inst. of Tech.
  1. "Charles Dickens, Time Lord: Energy Science, Time Travel, and Proto–Science Fiction," Jessica Kuskey, Oberlin Coll.
  2. "The Aesthetics of the Victorian Fourth Dimension," Amy R. Wong, Dominican Univ. of California
  3. "Science Fiction and the Temporality of Aging in H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine," Jacob Jewusiak, Valdosta State Univ.


Sunday Jan. 10

Medieval Fictionality
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 303, JW Marriott
Presiding: Rebecca Davis, Univ. of California, Irvine
  1. "Verisimilitude and Medieval Realism," Heather Blurton, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  2. "Fake Books and Hypotactic Space in Later Middle English Writing," Taylor Cowdery, Harvard Univ.
  3. "'No Feyned Mater': Chaucer’s Science Fiction," Lisa H. Cooper, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  4. "What Were Fictions Made Of?" Julie Orlemanski, Univ. of Chicago

Legal and Literary Persons
1:45–3:00 p.m., 301, JW Marriott
Presiding: Peter Leman, Brigham Young Univ., UT
  1. "The Recovery of (Legal) Personhood in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost and Nadine Aslam's Maps of Lost Lovers," Pavithra Tantrigoda, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  2. "Wild Men, Tree Armies, and Eagle Kings: Naturalizing Medieval Welsh Sovereignty," Jeanne L. Provost, Furman Univ.
  3. "Fantasy Island: Corporate Heads and Sovereign Subjects," Laura Elizabeth Lyons, Univ. of Hawai‘i, Mānoa
  4. "From Coverture to Corporations: Women and Legal Personhood in Edith Wharton's The Fruit of the Tree (1907)," Nicolette Bruner, Western Kentucky Univ.

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