SHL is delighted to invite creative practitioners in the South East England region to apply for our very first artist-in-residence opportunity, run in collaboration with Visiting Fellow Laurence Hill. Further information here. Deadline: noon 21 February.
The Digital Humanities Climate Coalition
After some wonderfully galvanising encounters in late 2021, Digital Humanities Climate Coalition is now officially a thing. It’s a collaborative and cross-institutional initiative focused on what DH researchers (broadly construed) can do in times of climate crisis and climate transition, especially understanding and improving the environmental impact of DH research. Participants are based at HE institutions and DH Centres across the UK, Ireland, and Northern Europe. There are three working groups doing things over the course of 2022, plus a reading group. If you’d like to find out more or get involved, you can do so here.
Datafication of Sexuality
Thursday 22 July 2021
Sussex Humanities Lab
University of Sussex
We invite proposals for a workshop on the Datafication of Sexuality, hosted at the Sussex Humanities Lab and with the FACT/// Network. A hybrid event, it will take place from 1PM to 3PM on Thursday 22 July on Zoom and in the lab. This workshop will feed into a larger research project that examines issues in relation to the datafication of sexuality and algorithmic sexuality.
We welcome participants interested in any aspect of the datafication of sexuality. Workshop topics might address the following questions. What is the history of the datafication of sexuality, sexual publics, and sexual minorities? Which actors collect this data and to what ends? Which tools and techniques have been used to collect, categorise, and visualise this data? We especially welcome proposals that examined how these practices have developed from the 1980s to the present.
Presenters will be asked to contribute a short presentation and engage in discussion and development of ideas. We are interested in building a network and a bid that links to a project that contextualises consumer genomics (e.g., 23andMe) research initiatives pertaining to LGBTQ+ publics within the history of the datafication of sexuality.
If you are interested in presenting, please email Sandra Nelson (Sandra.Nelson@sussex.ac.uk) by Wednesday 30 June (extended). Thank you.
Robo_Po /// Robo_Op
The Lab is once more open, and the first order of business is (obviously) to host our all-singing, all-versifying, maybe-some-dancing embodied AI performer, Cleo Mesmer.
This promises to be practice-led research at its very best: collaborative, interdisciplinary, exploratory, emergent, placing cutting-edge tech into a critical and reflexive context, exploring both the power relations from which technological innovation emerges, and the alternative possibilities it harbours.
For more about the project and the events, visit Evelyn Ficarra’s site.
We are also calling for two kinds of collaboration:
- Poems: Submit poems (50 words or less) for performance as part of Robo_Po. More details here.
- Voice: Submit fragments of sound to help us build a new voice for Cleo, perhaps one which seeks to acknowledge rather than conceal otherness, constructedness, and more-than-human entanglements. More details here.
CfP: Utopia on the Tabletop
Edited by SHL’s Jo Lindsay Walton, Utopia on the Tabletop will explore tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) in their intersections with utopianism. While often considered conspicuously “analog,” in distinction from their digital RPG cousins, TTRPGs actually have a much more complex relationship with the digital, shaped by gaming platforms and gaming social media such as Roll 20, Twitch, Itch.io, and Discord, and encompassing a diverse array of digital project management, performance, and creativity tools. How might the utopianism of storytelling and play intersect with the utopianism of these (post-) digital affordances? Abstracts due 1 February: full CfP available here.
CfP: Speculative Art
Call for Submissions: Speculative Art
“I want to be a machine” Andy Warhol
For the next issue of Vector, we invite contributors to explore modern and contemporary art in relation to science fiction. At a time when avoiding science fiction is as difficult as avoiding technology, the news, or reality itself, it’s no surprise we encounter SF in art galleries as well. Yet it’s difficult to provide a definition by which some works of art may be considered works of SF. Should such a definition be based on aesthetics, concepts, methods, or something else? Are there works of art that may not evoke SF at first glance, but are fruitful to consider in the context of SF culture and theory? We welcome submissions that explore technology, alterity, time and space, posthumanity, artificial intelligence, and other science fictional and fantastic themes through visual art, sound art, installation art, performance art, relational art, new media, conceptual art, ludic art, and any and all other forms.
The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2020. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss your ideas in advance. Academic articles between 3,500 and 5,500 words may be considered for peer review, and shorter articles, exhibition reviews, interviews, and other features are also welcome. Imaginative and left-field interpretations of the call are also encouraged.
Queries and submissions to: email@example.com.
For inspiration, here are just a few artists that draw on SF in their work:
Vector is the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association. It is edited by Polina Levontin and SHL’s Jo Lindsay Walton.
CfP: Mapping Feminists’ Coding Practices
FACT///. network is delighted to announce a call for papers for ‘FACT///.Mapping Feminists’ Coding Practices’, a one day symposium, on 20th November at the Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex. More details here.
Two SF CfPs
Two science fictiony CfPs: a conference (which I am pretending to co-organise) and an edited collection (no special Lab connection, but looks interesting) — Jo
CfP: Productive Futures
Bloomsbury, London, 12-14 September 2019
Keynote speakers: Dr Caroline Edwards, Dr Joan Haran
Guests of honour: Aliette de Bodard, Zen Cho, Tade Thompson
The history of science fiction (SF) is a history of unreal economics: from asteroid mining to interstellar trade, from the sex-work of replicants to the domestic labour of the housewives of galactic suburbia, from the abolition of money and property to techno-capitalist tragedies of the near future. Read the full CfP.
LSFRC invites abstracts of 300 words, plus 50 word bios, addressing economic themes in SF, and/or exploring how SF can help to widen and evolve our sense of the economic. We encourage submissions from collaborators across disciplines and/or institutions. Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st May 2019.
CfP: Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction
Edited by Sherryl Vint and Sümeyra Buran
In 1985, Donna Haraway’s massively influential “Cyborg Manifesto” reoriented feminist thought in her call for women to engage with science and technology, to recognize in them and the new worlds they might make new resources for female emancipation and feminist critique. Now, over thirty year later, technology has remade much of the social world, from communications to reproduction to work. Our anthology seeks to bring together cutting-edge scholarship on the contemporary status of feminism and technology, as reflected in speculative fiction. We invite papers for an edited collection on intersections between contemporary technology and both feminist and queer readings of speculative fiction.
We are interested in both works that imagine the future of sexuality and gender in which biological reproduction is policed or controlled as a technology of social reproduction, and those that imagine futures in which women’s bodies are changed or controlled via new biotechnologies. We are interested in articles that explore anxieties about changing demographics, changing gender roles, or the placidity of the body from feminist and queer points of view. Although the examples listed below emphasize print texts, we are open to papers addressing works from any medium. Similarly, our examples focus on recently published work, reflecting our view that this topic is of substantial interest to contemporary writers, but we are open to proposals that address similar themes in earlier texts.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- Works about how fertility is imagined as a scarce resource in dystopian futures premised on massive sterility and the oppressive control of reproductive women, such as Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks, Meg Ellison’s The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Sarah Hall’s Daughters of the North or Carrie Vaughn’s Bannerless.
- Explorations of dystopian texts which project futures of authoritarian policing of gender and sexuality, that is, compulsory heterosexuality imagined as a police state, such as Maggie Chen’s An Excess Male, Johanna Sinisalo’s The Core of the Sun, Jenna Glass’s The Women’s Waror Sarah Hall’s The Carhullan Army.
- Speculations about the future of assisted reproductive technologies such as cloning, IVF, parthenogenic reproduction, inter-species reproduction, ectogenesis, or machine reproduction, such as Carola Dibbell’s The Only Ones, Mur Lafferty’sSix Wakes, Anne Charnock’s Dreams Before the Start of Time, Jane Roger’s The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yoursor Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice.
- Works that explore how gender relations are manipulated and/or changed by a changing environment, whether this be new technologies used to control women, as in Christina Dalcher’s Vox, new developments in human morphology, as in Naomi Alderson’s The Power, or gendered experiences of artificial beings, as in Louisa Hall’s Speak.
Please send paper proposals of 500 words to Sümeyra Buran by June 15, 2019. Proposals will be reviewed and full papers invited by August 1, 2019.
Junior Research Associate opportunity: Digitising SF Fandom History
This is a call for current second year students at Sussex who are interested in applying to be a Junior Research Associate over the coming summer. You can find a description the JRA scheme here. This is a paid scheme, aimed at students who hope to pursue postgraduate research. This could be for you if you have an interest in the history of science fiction fandom and/or digital archiving and preservation. The deadline for the first round is 4pm Wednesday 10 April.
Vector is the magazine of The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), established 1958 and still publishing today. As the Science Fiction Encyclopaedia slightly snarkily puts it, “Vector has appeared variously as an association newsletter, a typical fanzine, and something like an academic journal.”
The BSFA currently have about two hundred issues of Vector scanned as PDF. It’s likely that the core of the project will be learning to use to learn to use the AtoM system in order to prepare these as a digital collection, ready for deposit into an institutional repository. You will explore what makes these materials valuable and unique, research and implement appropriate metadata practices, build upon existing (patchy) fan-curated record catalogues, including the ISFDB’s catalogue and Mike Cross’s catalogue, and begin to investigate some of the legal complexities of creating an archive.
We’re looking for somebody who wants to work in an independent and exploratory fashion, defining your own objectives, priorities, and research strategies within the project’s overall remit. So you’ll have the opportunity to shape your own research agenda, with the support of your supervisor. For example, you may want to look at reaching out to institutional holdings and fan communities to try to uncover missing issues; and/or explore the data of the collection using text analysis; and/or come up with novel ways of enriching the digital resource. The JRA could also be a great chance to learn more about the Sussex Humanities Lab and grow more involved in its research culture.