Contributions are invited for an essay collection on the representations of disability and the disabled body in science fiction. Technology is often characterized as a cure for the disabled body – one that either elides or exacerbates corporeal difference. From block buster films and televised space operas to cyberpunk and hard SF, disabled bodies are often modified and supported by technological interventions. How are dis/ability, medical “breakthroughs,” (bio) technologies, and the body theorized, materialized, and politicized in science fiction? This collection is particularly interested in the ways dis/abled bodies challenge normative discourses of ability, generate novel spaces of embodiment, and proliferate new understandings of human being.
Contributions are welcomed from both academic- and arts-based researchers and practitioners from a wide range of critical perspectives: literary studies, disability studies, feminist studies, science and technology studies, critical theory, race studies, queer studies, media studies, film studies, Aboriginal studies, cultural studies, and rhetoric studies. Papers may deal with the representation of disability in any form of popular genre SF: film, television, and print (including all SF subgenres i.e.: feminist SF, post-cyberpunk, hard SF, steampunk, etc.). All possible topics related to the representation of disability and disabled persons in SF are welcome: dis/ability, illness, technology as cure, prosthetics, diseased bodies/contagion, care of the self, alterations to the body, corporeal boundaries, environmental modifications, medical care, and alternative constructions of being.
Send a 300- to 500-word abstract, working title, and a brief bio, by email in a Word attachment, firstname.lastname@example.org before or on November 18, 2011. Inquiries are also welcome. Final papers should range in length from 5000-8000 words.
About the editor: Kathryn Allan received her PhD in English Literature from McMaster University (2010) studying feminist post-cyberpunk SF and theories of the vulnerable body. She currently is an independent SF scholar, working as a freelance writer and (academic) editor.