CfP: Finncon 2024 Academic Track

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for Finncon 2024 Academic Track, an international conference on speculative fiction. The conference takes place alongside Finncon 2024, on July 5–7, 2024 at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Deadline for proposals is 31.3.2024.

The Academic Track is an established part of Finncon, one of the largest European science fiction and fantasy conventions, and a meeting point for academics from all over the world. In 2024, the theme of Finncon and the Academic Track will be ”Worlds”.

For us, speculative fiction is a broad umbrella term that includes science fiction, fantasy and horror, as well as related (sub)genres and categories across all media. Researchers of literature, film, comics, games, fan culture, and other research fields are all welcome to participate, regardless of their career stage.

Studying fiction specifically from the viewpoint of fictional worlds has been a major point of interest for researchers in the last decades – particularly for researchers of speculative fiction. ‘Possible worlds’  as a special type of world-building in fiction as well as imaginary worlds as such have been theorized within and across media, including literature, film and television, as well as games, comics, and more (e.g. Ryan 1991, Doležel 1997, Wolf 2012). Fictional worlds of fantasy, science fiction, and speculative imagination have been seen as an excellent example of this. ‘Transmedial worlds’ (Klastrup & Tosca 2004) has been one of the core methods for conceptualizing transmedia phenomena, where multiple media forms are used to expand the same fictional universe. Science fiction and fantasy have been recognized as genres dominating this transmedia landscape (Harvey 2015). Game worlds and their methods for engaging players have also been one of the central interests for the study of games, and have given rise to such new scholarly perspectives on fiction as environmental storytelling, where narrative elements are distributed around the game world for the player to find and use to build a story (Fernandez-Vara 2011). Currently, interest in the ‘multiverse’ concept, which tackles fiction involving coexisting multiple parallel worlds, is on the rise as well.

Our ability to imagine possible worlds is of particular importance when ecological and political crises seem to be dominating our world. Going forward, what past, present, or emerging perspectives to worlds should we consider?

Proposals falling under our conference theme are given precedence but all papers relating to speculative fiction are welcome. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Fantastic or science-based worlds across speculative fiction
  • Poetics of worldbuilding: exposition, the creation and representation of narrative worlds
  • World-creation: utopias, geneses, building artificial worlds, creating magical worlds
  • World-destruction: apocalypses, dying worlds
  • Worlds and resources: access to food, water, air, oil, or other resources in SFF; post-scarcity worlds
  • Reconfiguring worlds (or their inhabitants): terraforming other worlds to accommodate human life, or reforming humans to survive life beyond Earth
  • Portrayal of evolving worlds, climate change, ecological transitions
  • Milieu-specific narratives: how speculative worlds affect the narrative?
  • Situated experiences: interplay of characters and worlds in SFF; reader/viewer/player experiences with/in SFF worlds
  • SFF and ecocriticism, environmental studies, or animal studies
  • Speculative worlds across media: worlds and adaptation, transmedial storyworlds
  • Speculative worlds and our world: Using SFF worlds to change our reality – activism, educational applications, et cetera.

Practical information

  • Send us your paper proposal by 31.3.2024 by filling out this form.
  • You should receive an automatic reply containing all your data – in case you don’t, please contact us.
  • The academic track will mostly consist of 15-minute presentations but we are open to suggestions on programming items in other formats (discussions, workshops etc.) as well.
  • You are free to propose multiple items.

The main language of the Academic Track will be English, as we aim for a global audience. However, if you have a strong preference for presenting in Finnish, it is also possible. In that case, you can fill the form in Finnish.

In case you have any questions, please contact Academic Track Co-Chairs:
Oskari Rantala (
Tanja Välisalo (