AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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This Unit connects the study of religion to the limitless possibilities for world-making, soul-saving, god-imagining, community-forming, and human-being posed by science fiction (and broadly, “speculative” fictions). Science Fiction (SF) is a literary and visual medium addressing the most basic existential and teleological questions human beings can pose. As the genre of infinite possible worlds, and human and superhuman becoming, SF has a unique ability to ask, examine, and suggest answers to the most profound questions and to envision transcendence beyond traditional realist literature or religious interpretations of the world.
Religion and Science Fiction invites proposals exploring the intersections of religion and speculative fictions in ways that illuminate theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues in the study of religion. We are especially interested in proposals that invite audience conversation, make use of new media, and consider alternative "sciences" and worlds. We seek proposals on the following topics:
• Ethics and Science Fiction, encompassing concepts such as virtue ethics and/or comparative violence
Science Fiction as map and model
• Utopia/Dystopia: has our sense of mastery over future has changed?
• Transhumanism, A.I., non-human persons, and the future of human beings
• Imaginary capture of neoliberalism and the push back against neo-isms
• Proposals that provoke science fictional imaginings and transgressions on the AAR's 2017 theme "Religion and the Most Vulnerable"
• Proposals for a possible tri-sponsored session with Sacred Texts and Ethics, and Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion invite paper (and panel) proposals at the nexus of sacred texts, science fiction and comic books, and hip hop culture. We invite proposals from a range of disciplinary and methodological approaches.