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Science Fiction is often perceived as technology-driven, offering an infomercial for tomorrow’s gadgets. But in some Science Fiction tales the engineering showcased is social, and the technology merely represents “futuristic” atmospherics. Huxley’s Brave New World, for example, focuses more on the sociological and psychological consequences of cloning than the technology behind it and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, though ostensibly set in the future, explores the social and political impact of the imposition of a fundamentalist theocracy on contemporary America. This panel seeks papers that investigate the relationship between the Social Sciences and Science Fiction. Possible themes include Science Fiction as popularization or critique of Social Science and Social Science as technology of power in utopian or dystopian societies.

This panel is the latest iteration of Science and Fiction, a permanent section of the MMLA. The topic has been approved and posted to the MMLA website. The 2005 MMLA conference will be held in Milwaukee’s historic Pfister hotel November 10th through the 13th.

Please send abstracts or completed papers by April 20th to Mark Decker via email at deckerm@uwstout.edu or to this address:

Dr. Mark Decker
Department of English and Philosophy
University of Wisconsin-Stout
P. O. Box 790
Menomonie, WI 54751