Israeli Speculative Fiction

Vered Weiss's picture
Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
Jewish History / Studies, Languages, Literature, Popular Culture Studies, Area Studies

Israeli Speculative Fiction CFP


For decades Israeli literature production and research seemed to focus almost entirely on realistic genres. However, a closer examination reveals not only the prevalence of speculative literature in Israeli culture, but also its significance in shaping both enduring and emerging ideas about Israeli identities. From Theodor Herzl’s famous utopia Altneuland (1902), and Amos Kenan’s dystopian novel The Way to Ein Harod (1984), to Hydromania by Assaf Gavron (2008), utopias and dystopias shape and subvert Israeli goals and ideals. The twenty-first century has witnessed a significant growth in Israeli speculative literature that explores Judaic traditions in the context of modern Israel, with texts such as Hagar Yanai’s Leviathan trilogy (2006, 2008, 2017) and Shimon Adaf’s “Judaic Rose Trilogy” (2010, 2011, 2012) solidifying both the genre’s readership and location in Israeli scholarship. Israeli speculative literature has broad avenues that include comics and graphic novels such as Uri Fink’s comic Sabraman (1978), Pizzeria Kamikaze by Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka (2006), and Rutu Modan’s graphic novels such as Tunnels (2020). The Israeli speculative literature scene is teeming, and already a decade ago the list of books provided in With Both Feet on the Clouds: Fantasy in Israeli Culture, the seminal book on Israeli speculative literature, was long and varied. It included formative authors such as Amos Kenan, Orly Castel-Bloom, and Etgar Keret, as well as emerging voices such as Shimon Adaf and Nir Baram. The twenty-first century has seen an expansion of Israeli speculative literature on platforms such as Hayo-Yihye magazine (Once Upon a Future Speculative Fiction Anthology; היֹה יהיה), the online journal Bli Panica (בלי פאניקה, No Panic) and the Icon and Utopia festivals, many of which are supported by The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. Recognizing the significance of speculative literature in the reconfiguration of modern Israeli identities will expand and deepen conversations about Israeli literature and culture.


The proposed edited volume will examine, among others, Israeli Fantasy and Science Fiction, Israeli graphic novels, Israeli depictions of zombies and vampires, Israeli speculative fiction that is not written in Hebrew in Israel, as well as Israeli speculative literature written by Israeli expats abroad. The focus of this volume is on Israeli literature, though comparative analysis with cinematic texts would also be considered.


We welcome contributions of scholars of all backgrounds, disciplines, and career stages. Please ends an abstract of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to:

Elana Gomel ( or

Vered Weiss (

The deadline for abstracts is December 31, 2021 and the deadline for full articles (5000-8000 words) is June 30, 2022.


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