Philophantast: A Speculative Fiction and Philosophy Conference CFP

A free hybrid conference for postgraduate students and early career researchers to be held on June 05 and 06 2024 at the University of Glasgow, supported by Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic.

Deadline for Submissions: April 19 2024

Contact Email: philophantast@gmail.com

Call for Papers:
Speculative fiction and media encompass multiple genres and modes that, like philosophy, make us question the possible and impossible. Speculative creations provide tools to delve into philosophical questions, such as exploring the nature of identity and approaching the ineffable, in addition to speaking truth to power and empowering marginalised voices. This hybrid conference on speculative media and philosophy, sponsored by the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, seeks to showcase how speculative fiction and media can create and express philosophical insights. Speculative media has the capacity to incentivise scholars, critics, creators, and wider audiences to embrace and reflect on philosophical perspectives beyond the academic context, thus bridging the interdisciplinary gap between philosophy and the media we create, consume, study, and enjoy. Rather than considering philosophy as the abstract, systematic analysis of existence, knowledge, and reason with little to no correlation with our everyday lives, we wish to highlight the proximity of philosophy in praxis and theory through speculative media.

We invite submissions focusing on any genre or subgenre of speculative fiction, including but not limited to afrofuturism, alternate history, fantasy, the fantastic, horror, the gothic, utopia, dystopia, and science fiction. We also encourage submissions that focus on media such as film, games, comics and graphic novels, music, theatre, and television, as well as literature. Likewise, we welcome proposals from all philosophical perspectives and branches. For example, papers may address continental, analytical and indigenous philosophies and philosophical traditions; queer, non-western, post-colonial or anticolonial philosophical theory; branches such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and political philosophy; as well as ontological, phenomenological, and theological insights on or developed by speculative media.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers from postgraduate students and early career scholars. We also welcome panels and roundtables with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 4 presenters, and proposals for workshops. Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• The analysis of speculative literature and media through philosophical lenses
• Speculative literature and media acting as thought experiments for philosophical ideas
• Imagination and philosophy
• Speculative philosophy and speculative literature and media
• Philosophical discourses developed by speculative literature and media
• Speculative fiction as an inclusive philosophical practice

Previous examples of studies that encompass both speculative media and philosophy include Marxist thought in Fantastika, imagining alternative worlds in speculative fiction, Neoplatonic thought in J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary production, studies on the abject in horror writing and cinema, and the fictionalisation of philosophers in literature and games.

Please submit an abstract (around 300 words), a short bio (maximum 150 words), and state if you wish to present in person or online to philophantast@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Abstract Submission’ by April 19 2024. Only applications from graduate students and early career researchers will be considered for this conference. We are particularly keen to highlight the contributions of underrepresented voices within speculative media and/or philosophy at this conference, and will prioritise contributions that demonstrate in abstract and/or bio that they align with this goal. If you have any questions, please contact the committee at philophantast@gmail.com

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