La ciencia ficción en América Latina. Aproximaciones teóricas al imaginario de la experimentación cultural./ Science fiction in Latin America. Theoretical approaches to the imaginary of cultural experimentation.
It is well known that science fiction resists easy definitions, which explains why somewhere Samuel Delany has said that science fiction has the same ontological status as unicorns. To define science fiction as a genre is so problematic that many of its practitioners prefer to speak of a mode of production and reading. Formalist and structuralist definitions as well as historiographic approaches often limit its own object of study or reduce it to an unmanageable object within the framework of popular culture studies. Even this last approach can be extremely problematic as one might ask what is a popular phenomenon (and even a mass phenomenon) which is mostly consumed by a very educated public, with high percentages of college degree recipients in their ranks, and whose commercial impact, apart from some few products, is more often than not, closer to the artisanal level.
Perhaps one of the most serious problems faced by scholars of science fiction written in Spanish is not only the instability of their corpus but also the mislabeling of science fiction artifacts and the confusion with fantastic narratives and imaginaries. This mix-up reveals jumbled vocabularies and exegesis. Such perspectives are rooted in a deep distrust on narrative forms that do not conform to straight forward models or clear cut aesthetic or ideological interpretations. Moreover, such suspicion hides a desire to create a pure ontology of Latin American culture.
At this point in time it is safe to say that the theoretical reflection on science fiction in Latin America is still scarce and, that at best, we are faced with an incipient field. However, the unusual interest and very positive reception of the LXXVIII volume of Revista Iberoamericana centered on Latin American science fiction as well as the increased developments in the field over the last year speak clearly of the growth in this area of research and its possibilities. In this sense, the present proposal aims to expand the discussion initiated a year ago, with a theoretical reflection to complement and organize the nature of the debates arising in different areas of research in the U.S., as well as in Europe and Latin America.
Science fiction works from multiple perspectives. Hence, Borges described it as "reasoned imagination exercises". Because Latin American science fiction was not defined by hard science fiction´s more well-known take on the modality, in Latin America it is defined by its exploration of political, sociological and epistemological issues. These themes can be traced from literature to movies and from cartoon to illustrations. Latin American science fiction themes cover, amongst others, the formation of the political imaginary, utopian identity, subjectivities of all types (i.e., gender, community, etc.), as well as otherness as an ontological and political problem, and also the social, biological, environmental and ethical advancement of technological development during late capitalism.
The current CFP welcomes submissions that reflect on science fiction as a cultural, social and political phenomenon, emphasizing both its epistemological and conceptual frameworks and its relationship with the cultural production in Latin America. Thus, the articles should focus their analysis on topics that include, but are not limited to the approaches and/or definitions of genre and/ or modality, the development and/or formatting of science fiction´s megatext, issues of retro-labeling and canon formation, the ideological archeology of science fiction in the region, aesthetic relations with other science fiction aesthetic objects and cultural field(s), historiography of magazines and fanzines (both in paper form and in electronic format), the formation of the fandom, the circulation of cultural goods at the continental level, etc..
All articles must be originals, with no more than 25 double-spaced pages (including references and notes), in MLA style, using thematic examples by science fiction authors, films, art, or music from Latin America, produced during any period of its literary history. Articles should be written be in Spanish and/or Portuguese, and will appear in a special issue of Revista Iberoamericana. (In the case of proposals in English, the authors must commit to provide a final version of the article in Spanish or Portuguese).
Please, send electronic proposals and questions to Silvia Kurlat Ares, Ph.D. at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and include
A 250-500 word summary
Academic affiliation and/or brief 200 word c.v.
DEADLINE FOR PORPOSALS: MONDAY, DECEMEBER 16, 2013
DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2014
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