• Contact:
  • Deadline for proposals: March 1, 2023 
  • WisCon 46 will take place May 26-29, 2023

WisCon’s Land Acknowledgement.

2023 Call for Papers

WisCon has a track of academic programming, framed by the convention’s Statement of Principles, that encourages submissions from scholars in all fields, including interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and anti-disciplinary areas, from amateur and independent scholars as well as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. One of the benefits of this track is that it strengthens the links between the wider feminist science fiction community, students, and other scholars working on feminist science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, and related fields. 

The track operates very much like a conventional academic conference, with presentations based on research. However, the audience that WisCon reaches is able to provide scholarly work—on all aspects of feminist science fiction—a kind of passionate and informed feedback that is rare at academic conferences. We very much encourage submissions from people who aren’t involved in formal academic work! Over the years, people have presented papers on fantasy, horror, speculative and science fiction literature, media, and fandom, examining issues of feminism, gender, sexuality, race, disability, colonialism, and class, amongst many others.

Given our current political moment, we invite papers and panels that explore themes echoing the American Studies Association’s 2023 Annual Meeting, “Solidarity: What Love Looks Like in Public” as well as the National Women’s Studies Association’s 2022 Annual Conference: “killing rage: resistance on the other side of freedom.” With these themes in mind, we encourage proposals to consider science fiction as a site of connection, survival, and protest. For example, how can feminist speculative fiction help us fight for a more just world? What lessons can be learned from Indigenous, Black, POC, and diasporic speculative fiction, to advance decolonial and anti-racist change? How can we use speculative fiction genres to respond to the threats of white supremacy, dispossession, militarization, and extractive capitalism? How might speculative fiction help us come together amidst collapsing structures to enable better futures?

These themes offer opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and cultural questions about the radical politics of futures as they relate to feminist speculative fiction and for work on the histories and dream making of freedom-oriented fan communities.

Further, we invite proposals from anyone with a scholarly interest in the intersections of gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, class, and disability with speculative fiction—broadly defined—in literature, media, and culture. We encourage contributions that emphasize WisCon’s focus on how speculative fiction has played an important role in the exploration and creation of socially just futures: futures where people of all colors and backgrounds flourish, where women’s rights and women’s contributions are valued, where gender is not limited to one of two options, where no one is erased out of convenience, hidden by discrimination, or experiences bigotry.

An incomplete list of possible subjects:

  • Gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, class, and disability in individual works of science fiction and fantasy, especially in the works of 2023’s Guests of Honor Rivers Solomon and Martha Wells
  • Explorations of different iterations of love, erotics, care, and solidarity.
  • Rethinking Humanity and Humanism in order to intentionally decenter whiteness, through robot intelligence, A.I., ability/disability/superability, & BIPOC embodiments.
  • Speculative aspects of feminist and social justice movements.
  • Race, colonialism, and speculative fiction; Indigenous Futurism, Afrofuturism, Latinx Futurism, African and Diasporic futurism, Asian futurism and related cultural movements.
  • Feminist pedagogy and speculative fiction in the academic classroom and beyond.
  • Feminist, queer, critical race, and critical disability analysis of speculative fiction in media (film, television, music, video games, online culture).
  • How and in what ways can we embrace The Future is Disabled (Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2022)? And what if disability justice and disabled wisdom are crucial to creating a future in which it’s possible to survive fascism, climate change, and pandemics and to bring about liberation?

An incomplete list of possible formats:

  • 15-minute paper presentations, with or without visual accompaniment.
  • Groups of presentations submitted together as panels.
  • Presentation of scholarly creative works, including digital scholarship.
  • Discussion-based panels and roundtables on scholarly research, teaching, or service.
  • Screenings and discussions of short films or videos.

The deadline for submitting an abstract for WisCon 2023 is midnight Central Time on March 1, 2023

This year, we are planning to meet with in-person panels at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, WI. We will also have synchronous zoom panels for those unable to meet in person. Please indicate whether you plan to present in-person or virtually when you submit your abstract.

Please submit your proposal on the site. First you must create (or activate) your profile at MY WISCON ACCOUNT on the left sidebar of the WisCon homepage. Then click on the SUGGEST A SESSION link from the top menu and choose Academic from the select a division drop down.  You will be asked for a title, a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program item. A projector and screen will be available for those at the Concourse Hotel.

If you have questions, please email: