Session Call for Papers, SFRA 2012, “The Neuroscientific Turn in Science Fiction”

As you might already know, the 2012 Science Fiction Research Association conference in Detroit, Michigan [official conference site here] is rapidly approaching!

The deadline for submitting paper abstracts is April 23, but I would like to see if there is any interest in a special session before the final deadline.

Below, you can find my call for papers for a special session titled, “The Neuroscientific Turn in Science Fiction.” Read over it and if you would like to submit an abstract, send it to me by April 6 and I will bundle it with others for the conference organizer Steve Berman. Thanks!

Science Fiction Research Association Conference 2012

Detroit, MI

Session Call for Papers

“The Neuroscientific Turn in Science Fiction”

At SFRA 2011 in Poland, I participated in a well-attended session on brain-related topics in science fiction. I presented my paper on a cognitive approach to science fiction, in which I argue that science fiction arises as an evolutionary byproduct that acclimates us for a rapidly changing present and prepares us for an uncertain future.

This year, I propose another session or sessions for the 2012 SFRA conference in Detroit with an emphasis on brain and mind topics in science fiction with the tentative title, “The Neuroscientific Turn in Science Fiction.”

Topics may include, but are not limited to: brain hardware vs. mind software, narratives that focus on the physicality of the brain, ontological and epistempological problems arising from brain surgery or physical injury, the spectrum of human experience as a result of different brain development and impairment, human brains and experience vs. other brains and experience, hard neuroscience in science fiction, what is the history of brain-related stories in SF?, etc. Papers on any SF medium that address this topic are welcome. I intend to talk about the relationship of Philip K. Dick’s health problems and his development of brain disorders and damage in his fiction.

If other SFRAers are interested in presenting a paper on a brain-related topic, please send me your paper abstract and contact information, and I will forward these to Steve Berman in the session proposal. The deadline for submitting an abstract for this session proposal is April 6. Please send to dynamicsubspace [a] gmail [d] com.

I am a professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on 20th/21st-century American culture, science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology.

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Who is Dynamic Subspace?

Dr. Jason W. Ellis shares his interdisciplinary research and pedagogy on Its focus includes the exploration of science, technology, and cultural issues through science fiction and neuroscientific approaches. It includes vintage computing, LEGO, and other wonderful things, too.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech) where he teaches college writing, technical communication, and science fiction.

He holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University, M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech.

He welcomes questions, comments, and inquiries for collaboration via email at jellis at citytech dot cuny dot edu or Twitter @dynamicsubspace.


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