CFP, Changing the Climate, Utopia, Dystopia, and Catastrophe 2010 Conference

Leslie Kay Swigart send the following conference cfp to the SFRA email list. It’s for a conference that takes place just before WorldCon and both are in Australia. It sounds like the perfect excuse for an extended stay in the land down under. Read on for the details and the outstanding guest lineup–John Clute, Kim Stanley Robinson, Tom Moylan, and others:


The Fourth Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction

30th August =96 1st September 2010

Monash University Conference Centre
30 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia

A conference organised by the Centre for Comparative Literature and
Cultural Studies at Monash University


In December 2001 the University of Tasmania hosted a successful
conference around the theme of Antipodean Utopias. In December 2005,
Monash University hosted a second conference, around that of Imagining
the Future, to mark the long-awaited publication of Fredric Jameson=92s
book Archaeologies of the Future. A third conference, Demanding the
Impossible, followed in December 2007, again at Monash. Despite the
apparent optimism of all three conference themes, dystopia remained a
recurrent preoccupation in their discussions. This fourth conference
will directly address the questions of dystopia and catastrophe with
special reference to a problem that increasingly haunts our imaginings
of the future, that of actual or possible environmental catastrophe. As
Jameson himself wrote in The Seeds of Time: It seems easier for us
today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of
nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; perhaps that is due to
some weakness in our imaginations=92.Hopefully, this conference will play
some small part in changing that particular climate of opinion.

The conference invites papers from scholars, writers and others
interested in the interplay between ecology and ecocriticism, utopia,
dystopia and science fiction.


The opening address will be given by Kate Rigby, Founding President of
the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment,
Australia-New Zealand, and author of Topographies of the Sacred: The
Poetics of Place in European Romanticism (2004).


John Clute
Science fiction writer, Director of the Department of Story Future in
the Centre for the Future at Slavonice and co-author of The Encyclopedia
of Science Fiction (1993) and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997).

Tom Moylan
Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the Ralahine Center for
Utopian Studies, University of Limerick, author of Demand the Impossible
(1986) and Scraps of the Untainted Sky (2000) and co-editor of Dark
Horizons (2003).

Kim Stanley Robinson
Distinguished science fiction writer, winner of two Hugo Awards and
author of the Orange Country Trilogy, the Mars Trilogy, Antarctica, The
Years of Rice and Salt and the Science in the Capital Trilogy.

Deborah Bird Rose
Professor of Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, author of Dingo
Makes Us Human (2000), Reports from a Wild Country (2004) and Wild Dog
Dreaming: Love and Extinction (in press).

Linda Williams
Associate Professor in Art History at RMIT University, curator of The
Idea of the Animal exhibition (2004) and the HEAT: Art and Climate
Change exhibition (2008).

The conference invites papers from scholars, writers and others
interested in the interplay between ecology and ecocriticism, utopia,
dystopia and science fiction.


Abstracts (approx. 100-150 words) should be sent by 30 June 2010 by
e-mail to:


or by post to:

Utopias4 Conference
Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
School of English, Communications and Performasnce Studies
Clayton campus
Monash University
Victoria 3800


The conference will take place over three days.

Full registration for the three days costs $A280, with a concessional
price for students and the non-employed of $A140.

Registration for one day only costs $A110, with a concessional price of
$A55. All prices are GST inclusive.

Registration is due by 31 July 2010.

Published by

Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.