Call for Papers:
Science Fiction and the Archive: The Seventh Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium
Date and Time:
Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 9:00AM-5:00PM EST
Online via Zoom, Sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.
Jill Belli, Wanett Clyde, Jason W. Ellis, Kel Karpinski, and Lucas Kwong
Continuing the explorations and conversations of the previous two symposia on “Race” and “Access” respectively, this year’s City Tech Science Fiction Symposium is focused on the idea of the “Archive.” The potential of the SF Archive as an inclusive and celebratory concept is increasing, and we hope this symposium will be a space to facilitate its expansion through our conversations and collegial debate. Of course, an archive (little a) can refer to practical considerations of Library-based Special Collections like those in the City Tech Science Fiction Collection and others, including the collected materials, cataloging, and providing access. However, we are also thinking of the Archive (big A) in terms of canonicity, cultural preservation, reading lists, and bookstore shelfspace. These latter considerations raise questions about what does and doesn’t get included within what we might call the SF Archive as well as who does and doesn’t get a say in those selections. Therefore, the SF Archive is a broadly based concept that encompasses Libraries and Special Collections and the larger cultural space of fandom, social media, and the marketplace, all of which involve the exchange of cultural capital, influence by different forms of gatekeepers, and conversations on many levels by different readers about what SF should be valued, recognized, and saved.
The SF Archive changes over time. Perhaps most exciting for the present are the many initiatives to excavate our shared cultural histories for SF that had been overlooked or forgotten but certainly deserving of inclusion, such those by writers of color, women, and LGBTQ+ persons; and efforts to bring global SF to wider audiences thanks to growing networks of readers and scholars versed in the original language of a text and those wanting to experience those stories through translation.
Also, Analog Science Fiction and Fact will announce the winner of their second Analog Award for Emerging Black Voices at this year’s symposium (https://www.analogsf.com/about-analog/analog-emerging-black-voices-award/).
We invite proposals for 10-20 minute scholarly paper presentations or 40-60 minute panel discussions related to the topic of Science Fiction and the Archive. Please send a 250-word abstract with title, brief 100-150-word professional bio, and contact information to Jason Ellis (email@example.com) by October 31, 2022. Topics with a connection to the SF Archive might include but certainly are not limited to:
- What is an/the SF Archive?
- What is the relationship and interaction between SF archives as physical places and the larger concept of an SF Archive?
- What constitutes the SF Archive?
- Who decides what goes into the SF Archive?
- What role does generation or age play in forming the SF Archive?
- What media is included in the SF Archive?
- How can the SF Archive be inclusive and representative?
- What lineages or clusters of SF based around geography, country, language, identity, culture, etc are in or should be included in the SF Archive?
- What barriers are there to building awareness or inclusiveness of an SF type within the larger SF Archive?
- What role do digital technologies and social networks play in creating the SF Archive? How do these relate to other technologies of archive formation, including journals, magazines, zines, and conventions?
- How are archives depicted in SF? What do these archives hold and what role do they serve within their respective narrative? Can SF depictions of archives serve as a model for the SF Archive?
Like last year (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWEFb3DcsZdnfTmMuoZN3sRXxe3VRojf1), the symposium will be held online as a Zoom Webinar. This facilitates a larger and wider audience. Therefore, there are no geographical limitations for participants, but the time for the event’s program will follow Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5:00).
This event is free and open to the public as space permits: an RSVP will be included with the program when announced on the Science Fiction at City Tech website (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/sciencefictionatcitytech/). Free registration will be required for participation.
The event is sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.
The Annual City Tech Symposium on Science Fiction is held in celebration of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, an archival holding of over 600-linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and scholarship. It is in the Archives and Special Collections of the Ursula C. Schwerin Library (Library Building, L543C, New York City College of Technology, 300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201). More information about the collection and how to access it is available here: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/sciencefictionatcitytech/librarycollection/.