CfP: Finncon 2023 Academic Track

We are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for Finncon 2023 Academic Track, an international conference on speculative fiction that will take place in 7–9 July 2023 at Tampere University, Finland. The Academic Track is a long-established part of the largest annual science fiction and fantasy convention in Finland, and serves as a meeting place for academics working on all things related to speculative fiction from all over the world. In 2023, in concordance with the convention at large, the theme of the Academic Track is “Time.” Please send in your paper proposal (abstract of no more than 300 words + a brief biographical note) to by 28 February 2023.

Representation of time and temporality is generally considered a basic element of any narrative, but a particularly rich variety of approaches to time can arguably be found in speculative storytelling. Science fiction often builds speculative visions of possible futures; fantasy stories can look far into past, envisioning Medieval-esque worlds and mythic prehistories; and time travel stories in various subgenres of speculative fiction may explore and challenge everyday conceptions of linear time. Speculative fiction also has potential to represent the passage of time on a world-historical or even geologic scale that surpasses individual human lifespans, to rethink the notion of history as something fixed and pregiven, and to enable future-oriented thinking. In addition, speculative fiction itself has a long history and a rich tradition to reflect on, as well as a great deal of apparent relevance to audiences in the present historical moment, where we are all facing a highly uncertain future.

With such a wide variety of possible outlooks to time in speculative fiction, we welcome paper proposal on topic including but not limited to:

·      storytelling on particularly long (or short!) timespans in speculative fiction

·      representations of world-historical, geologic, cosmic or otherwise “deep” or “more-than-human” temporal scales

·      explorations of non-linear, e. g. circular, fragmented or otherwise experimental conceptions of time in speculative stories

·      time travel stories of all kinds

·      dystopias, utopias, apocalypses, post-apocalypses and other visions of possible (or impossible) futures

·      alternative histories and hybrid forms between fantasy or sf and historical fiction

·      fantastic pseudo-Medievalism and other imaginative approaches to historical periods across speculative genres

·      myths and legends as modes for narrating (or inventing) distant pasts and futures

·      the history, present and future of speculative fiction and/or its scholarship

·      the significance of speculative storytelling for the current historical moment, considering e. g. ongoing geopolitical crises or climate change

We understand speculative fiction as a broad umbrella term that includes at least science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, as well as related genres and categories across literature, film, games, media, fan studies, and other research approaches. Contributions from scholars interested in speculative storytelling at all career stages and from all research fields are warmly welcome! While proposals falling under the conference theme will be given precedence, we will also consider papers on other topics related to speculative fiction.

The language for all the papers in the Finncon 2023 Academic Track is English. The conference will be organized on-site at Tampere University, with remote participation possible in certain special cases. We do not charge any conference fee from participants.

As co-chairs of the Finncon Academic Track, we are glad to answer all questions you may have regarding the conference. 


Elise Kraatila & Markus Laukkanen