Academic Programme

Academic Programme

Glasgow 2024’s Academic Programme will bring together a diverse set of scholars from the humanities, social sciences, and adjacent disciplines to launch an exploration of SF/F/H’s concern for our futures. Through a combination of panels of three (3) 15-minute presentations each and hour-long roundtable discussions with scholars, we’ll discuss themes of futurity as they manifest in genre fiction and media past and present, as well as speculate on the genre’s own potential futures and capacity for shaping the future, encompassing film, literature, comics, games, new media, and art and/or the fan communities that celebrate them.

Call for Papers

Science fiction has often been associated with a forward-looking glance towards the future, but the exact contours of the futures it presents can take many forms. The future worlds that structure popular SF works like Star Trek, Iain M. Banks’s Culture series, or Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish novels present us not only with exciting new technologies, but also with alternative ways that we might live, participating in what Le Guin has called ‘an archaeology of the future’. Likewise, SF dystopias such as those envisioned by Octavia E. Butler or Suzanne Collins can highlight how disastrous the future could be, and how we could prevent, resist, or survive in the face of it. Other speculative genres also prompt consideration of possible futures: the ghosts of futures that might have been haunt the halls of horror, and fantasy makes us ask whether a happy ending, or ‘eucatastrophe’, might be hoped for even when all seems lost. Glancing towards the future in genre fiction enriches our understanding of how we live in the here and now.

In keeping with the theme of Glasgow 2024: the 82nd World Science Fiction Convention, ‘A Worldcon For Our Futures’, we welcome scholarly presentations* about how genre fiction and media in their myriad forms** address the theme of futurity. Suggested topics may include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Utopian and dystopian settings and themes
  • Hauntology and futures that might have been
  • Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and other diasporic futurisms and related movements
  • Time and temporality in SF/F/H
  • Ecological futures, futures of energy, and/or climate futures in the Anthropocene/Capitalocene
  • Queer futurity and/or philosophies of ‘no future’
  • Alternative histories and/or encounters between future, past, and present
  • Retrofuturisms and/or failed futures
  • Apocalyptic imaginaries and the ‘end of the world’ in SF/F/H.

(* By ‘presentation’ we mean talks, ideally with visual support, rather than readings of academic work. Presentations should be geared towards a general audience, as Worldcon attendees come from academic and non-academic backgrounds.

** Proposals may address any genre media or genre-related content, including but not limited to fiction, poetry, film and television, comics and graphic novels, plays, fandom, genre history, tabletop and video games, and so on.)

We particularly welcome proposals that feature: 

  • Representations of Scotland in genre fiction and media, Scottish creative practitioners, or Scottish fandom
  • Interdisciplinary research between the Humanities and other disciplines – this includes collaborative and co-authored papers
  • Genre fiction from outside the Anglosphere, including works in English and in translation
  • Works by Guests of Honour and by attending authors.

We will give priority to proposals that highlight lesser-known works (from any time or place) or place the classics of the genre in conversation with lesser-known works. We view genre as a constantly evolving and non-monolithic entity, and we would like to see this reflected in scholarship.

Finally, we are also interested in proposals for roundtable discussions on subjects relevant to scholars, teachers, and related individuals. These roundtables will share knowledge with scholars and educators, and might address teaching methods across the Humanities disciplines, tools for scholarly research, applying research to education, editing scholarly work, or open dialogues on specific SF/F/H topics of interest to the broad field of scholarship.

Any questions about the Academic Programme can be sent to us at

Submission Process

The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2024.

We will accept proposals for the following formats:

  • Individual presentations – a 15-minute presentation (these will be grouped into 3-presentation panels by the academic area team)
  • Panels or roundtables – Discussions between 3-5 scholars on subjects relevant to the academic track. These should be conversational and informative events.

All scholars are welcome to submit, whether formally affiliated with a university or operating as an independent scholar. We also strongly encourage scholars from minority backgrounds to submit, including scholars from outside the Anglosphere.

To submit, please provide proposals, bios, and other relevant details using the application form.

This link will take you to our scheduling system, Planorama. The first time you access Planorama for Glasgow 2024, you will need to click the “Create account” button at the bottom of the login page. This account will be different from any other Glasgow 2024 accounts and registrations you may have.

Any questions about the submission process or the Academic Programme in general can be sent to