Tomasz Fisiak's picture
Call for Papers
May 17, 2019 to May 18, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Film and Film History, Popular Culture Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

As the titular citation from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale suggests, futuristic narratives, similarly to some earlier genres (i.e. dream vision), allow to transfer the content that, from a social, cultural or political viewpoint, might be considered as defiant, rebellious or subversive. Therefore, it is via this convention that gender issues, marginalised in the so-called mainstream, have been repeatedly channelled over the years.

In her study, Words Apart?: Dualism and Transgression in Contemporary Female Dystopias, Mohr claims that “Feminist utopias significantly differ in terms of narrative content from male utopias. Thematically, feminist utopias shift the focus to female reality and to everyday life; they restructure the distribution of power within society and family and reject sex-segregated labour” (24). Among other issues, Mohr enumerates “gender equality, communitarian goals, decentralisation” as the key features of this genre (24). Furthermore, the feminist category focuses on the importance of distinguishing “biology” from the cultural and social notions of gender, reproductive rights and practices, motherhood, and women’s sexual identifications and roles (Mohr 24-25). In line with the above, the conference seeks to explore relevant instances of futuristic, feminist and women-oriented narratives in English-language literature and culture, film and visual arts. Peer-reviewed essays/articles will be published.

Please submit abstracts up to 300 words to the e-mail address: uhe.conference@gmail.com. Deadline for submission: 7th of April.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 10th of April.


The applications could consider, among other topics, the problems such as:

·      women’s traditional roles being questioned

·      empowering of female characters

·      female agency and subjectivity

·      the critique of the patriarchal society

·      female popular culture “action” heroines

·      women and the social media

·      ecological utopias

·      offering alternative gender-equality scenarios

·      LGBT issues

·      lesbian identities

·      gender-based discrimination

·      fertility and reproductive politics

·      m/othering

·      “futuristic” ecofeminist discourse



Confirmed Plenary Speakers: 

Dr Dunja M. Mohr, the author of Words Apart?: Dualism and Transgression in Contemporary Female Dystopias

Dr Alessandra Boller, the author of Rethinking 'the Human' in Dystopian Times, the co-editor of Dystopia. Science Fiction Post-Apocalypse: Classics, New Tendencies and Model Interpretations

Dr Adam Stock, the author of Dystopian Fiction and Political Thought: Narratives of World Politics

Contact Info: 

Organising committee:

dr hab. Katarzyna Ostalska

dr Tomasz Fisiak

Aleksandra Krajewska

Gaja Staroń



Institute of English Studies

Faculty of Philology

University of Lodz

171/173 Pomorska Street

91-404 Lodz, Poland

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