Science Fiction, Gender, and Sexuality: The Eighth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium
Date and Time:
November 30, 2023, 9:00AM-5:00 PM EST
Online via Zoom, Sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.
Organizers: Jill Belli, Wanett Clyde, Leigh Gold, Kel Karpinski, Lucas Kwong, Vivian Papp & Sean Scanlan
This year’s City Tech Science Fiction Symposium explores Science Fiction in the context of Gender and Sexuality. Previous symposia have centered interdisciplinarity, diversity, inclusion/exclusion, and the historical and cultural determinants of the genre.
What does it mean to be gendered in our world? What could it mean in another world, on another planet, or even in another dimension? From Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World (1666) to Netflix’s more recent science fiction hit “The Expanse,” women (and expansive representations of gender fluidity) have been present (even if only ornamental) in science fiction’s every iteration. Iconic texts of the genre, like Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time and He, She, It — among many others deal with gender much more fluidly and in non-binary terms. Strong lead characters like Joanna from Joanna Russ’s The Female Man (1975) and Octavia Butler’s champion Lauren Olamina from The Parable of the Sower (1993) are just two examples of the significant changes and developments we have seen in the roles assigned to women in science fiction. Authors of and characters from imagined futuristic worlds that reinterpret scientific discoveries or invent their own, heartily invite plasticity or omission of gender. Science fiction is a malleable genre where it is possible to challenge (and often dismantle) gender roles by continuously reimagining what it means or could mean to be gendered in our world.
Each year, the symposium’s theme builds upon the previous one creating a thread that ties one event and its participants to another. Previous symposia have focused on Race, Access, the Archive, interdisciplinarity, and the history of science fiction.
We invite proposals for 10-20 minute scholarly paper presentations or 40-60 minute panel / roundtable discussions related to the topic of Science Fiction, Gender, and Sexuality. Please send a 250-word abstract with title, brief 100-150-word professional bio, and contact information to Wanett Clyde (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 31. Topics might include but certainly are not limited to:
- Speculative visions of gender and sexuality
- Feminist theory in science fiction
- Gender, sexuality and the science fiction body
- masculine identity/concepts of the masculine and science fiction
- Subgenres and movements – such as Afrofuturism, Black science fiction, Indigenous Futurism, and speculative fiction by writers of color – through the lens of gender and sexuality
- Unpacking the term “women in science fiction”
- Gender and the technological/technology? Or: Intersections of gender and technology*
- Creating (publishing?) in the age of anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments and legislation
- Own stories in LGBTQIA+ science fiction
- Queer fan zines or other alternative ways of engaging in science fiction
- AI, Gender, and the Apocalypse
- The intersections of gender and technology
- Gender and performativity/theories of performativity
Analog Science Fiction and Fact will announce the winner of their third Analog Award for Emerging Black Voices at this year’s symposium (https://www.analogsf.com/about-analog/analog-emerging-black-voices-award/).
Like the previous three years, 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/.
Participation in this Pride event is made possible due to generous funding from the New York City Council Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual Caucus and the Office of the Mayor, and supported by The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives