Welcome to Paradoxa
Paradoxa publishes articles on genre literature: science fiction, horror, mysteries, children's literature, romance, comic studies, the fantastic, best sellers, the occult, westerns, oral literature, and more. Paradoxa invites submissions on all aspects of genre literature which make a significant and original contribution to the study of those genres.
“A marvelous collection that highlights why science fiction is more varied, more vibrant, and more important than ever. Including contributions by established voices and emerging ones, Sf Now provides us with a thorough map of the issues, problems, and questions investigated by contemporary science fiction and sf theory, including the boundary between animal and human, capitalism realism, world systems, and world literature, Afrofuturisms, indigenous futurisms, transhumanism, and Humanity 2.0, and post humanism–and much, much more. The essays, interviews, and reviews expertly assembled by editors Mark Bould and Rhys Williams interrogate the complex operations of the social, political, and cultural imaginaries we produce at multiple sites. Taken together, the contributions to this issue of Paradoxa bring to life the critical energies that only the future can offer us in understanding the dynamics of the now, and which might yet animate better worlds still to come.” –Imre Szeman, University of Alberta, editor (with Michael Groden & Martin Kreiswirth) of Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory: The Johns Hopkins Guide (2012)
“Sf Now comprises a bracing assessment of the state of the art of science fiction–its increasing variety and generic fluidity; the inexorable metamorphosis of sf tropes into our late-capitalist, post-human lived environment; the constriction and darkening of our imaginable futures in the face of neoliberal political economy and ecological degradation; and its stubborn kernel of utopian desire. Collecting together the work of old pros and exciting newcomers, Sf Now also testifies to the intellectual vitality and growing complexity of the field of science fiction studies. For all concerned about the shadows futurity is casting upon our present, Sf Now is an illumination and a provocation not to be missed.” –John Rieder, University of Hawaii, author of Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction (2008)
“Mark Bould and Rhys Williams bring together some of the field’s best scholars and artists to explore sf as a global language that dramatizes the hopes and fears of people across continents, cultures, and media. The authors featured in this collection mobilize an impressive array of cutting-edge critical concepts from politics, economics, and art, mixing and re-mixing them with sf theory to provide a fresh new vantage point from which to consider the old claim that sf is ‘the literature of late capitalism.’ While many of the essays and interviews included in Sf Now show how sf illustrates late capitalism’s devastating apocalyptic tendencies, others explore how genre practitioners draw on earlier moments of catastrophic change to speculate about the range of critical and creative practices that might allow humans (and for that matter, all living beings) to survive and even flourish in the world of tomorrow. An excellent introduction to sf writing and scholarship for those who are new to the discipline, and a wonderful update for veterans.” –Lisa Yaszek, Georgia Tech, author of Practicing Science Fiction: Critical Essays on Writing, Reading, and Teaching the Genre (2010)
"A stunning collection of some of the most exciting and important voices in science fiction criticism, with a focus on contemporary trends, including such topics as capitalist realism, animal others, and the Energy Humanities. This collection is essential for anyone interested in where SF is now in our historical present, and where it is headed in the near future." — N. Katherine Hayles, Professor of Literature, Duke University, author of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012).
Issues in Preparation
Volume 27, The Futures Industry
(submissions closed, December, 2015)
More than thirty years ago, Fredric Jameson suggested in “Progress versus Utopia” (1982) that, far from providing us with blueprints of the future, the function of science fiction was to dramatize our inability to imagine a future distinct from the capitalist present. Much of his work since, including his “genealogy of the future” in Valences of the Dialectic has focused on the importance of speculative fiction for working through the difficulties of utopian thinking in a context thoroughly saturated by capitalist thinking.
Capitalism has colonized our present and our ability to think about the future. But more importantly, it has also consumed this future in the form of futures markets that script certain trajectories as we deplete limited oil reserves and watch the extinction of hundreds of species due to pollution and climate change.
In the twenty-first century, the future has never seemed so polarized, and we oscillate between dystopian visions of scarcity and collapse (what Chris Harmon calls Zombie Capitalism, 2010) and visions of corporate advertising for products such as cellular phones and luxury cars. These “essential” items suggest that their consumers can live in the future now through these technological marvels. Everyone from Monsanto (Monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/feed-the-future-initiative.aspx) to Verizon (verizon.com/powerfulanswers/) to biotech entrepreneur Craig Venter—in his book Life at the Speed of Light (2013)—claims to be building a better world. Such discourse appropriates and erodes the language of those who seek to articulate alternative futures.
This issue of Paradoxa invites papers that address the struggle to imagine—and shape—the future in interdisciplinary frameworks. Mark Fisher argues in Capitalist Realism (2012) that the language of advertising is a key mechanism by which we are encouraged to invest in the future as the future of capitalism. It is imperative that we interrogate these limiting visions of the future and reinvigorate the utopian project of imagining and nurturing alternative visions of the social.
As examples of this reimagining, authors are referred to Arjun Appardurai’s call for “an anthropology of the future” in The Future as Cultural Fact; Elizabeth Povinelli’s analysis of the frozen space-time of neoliberalism and her observation that it destroys alternative futures by “denying them social substance” (Economics of Abandonment 134); Kaushik Sunder Rajan’s work on the economies of biocapital and its Derridean rhetoric of “truth”; Melinda Cooper’s work in Life as Surplus on what she calls “capitalism delirium [which] seeks to refashion the world rather than interpret it” (20).
How might we reclaim the future, not only the material future as a space of greater equity and social justice, but also the future as our imaginative ability to think about estranged and new worlds rather than to capitulate to a future as envisioned by global capital? Can science fiction foster a critical understanding of the intersections of political economy and contemporary technoscience, or does its own status as an entertainment commodity inevitably compromise its capacity as a tool for social critique? What is the role of speculative thinking in political struggle and social justice today?
We invite proposals of 500 words for papers of 5000-9000 words. Proposals are due October 1, 2014. Authors will be notified within 3 weeks if their abstract has been accepted. Full papers will be due July 1, 2015. Each paper will be subject to external peer review before acceptance is final. For additional information about past Paradoxa projects, see www.paradoxa.com. Please send proposals to Sherryl Vint at email@example.com
Volume 28 Contemporary Voices From Senegal
Call for Papers (anticipated publication date December, 2016)
Paradoxa invites contributions for a special issue on contemporary Senegalese discourses. Because of its dynamic intellectual, literary and artistic production, Senegal is a leading light in African letters and arts, and has been home to many widely known figures, including Cheikh Anta Diop, Leopold Sédar Senghor, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Sembene Ousmane, Mariama Bâ, and others. Alongside these pioneers, new generations of Senegalese writers and filmmakers continue to develop one of the most creative fields of cultural production on the continent. And yet the contemporary Senegalese corpus has yet to be the focus of a thematic study. In order to address this lacuna, Contemporary Voices from Senegal proposes to provide an overview of contemporary literature and cinema in Senegal. In addition to articles exploring the richness and diversity of contemporary Senegalese narratives, the Editor also seeks analyses of their tendencies towards ruptures with or continuations of an intellectual tradition. We welcome submissions on literary fiction, poetry and cinema, as well as other forms of writing prevalent in Senegal today (political essays, satirical pamphlets, etc).
Contemporary Voices from Senegal is interested in essays that address …
Authors and intellectuals: Ken Bugul, Moussa Touré, Boubacar Boris Diop, Fatou Diome, Sokhna Benga, Safi Faye, Khady Sylla, Nafissatou Dia Diouf, Alain Gomis, Felwine Sarr, Oumar Sankharé, Rama Salla Dieng, Ramatou Seck Samb, Tidiane Ndiaye, Ousmane Sow, Joseph Gaye Ramaka, Moussa Sène Absa, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Abibatou Traoré Kemgné, Laurence Gavron, Cheikh Alioune Ndao, Mansour Sora Wade, Djibril Diop Mambety, Louis Camara, Dyana Gueye, Samba Felix Ndiaye, Ben Diogaye, Sylvie Kandé, Abasse Ndione.
Themes: Postcolonial writers and filmmakers ; society and political discourses; contemporary Senegalese thought ; contemporary women’s writing; regional writing; post-Senghorian Senegalese poetry; the new Senegalese diaspora; literature and society; Sufi poetry; national languages and creative works; the problematics of translation.
Prospective contributors may contact the guest editor with questions about a particular topic’s appropriateness. Double-spaced submissions should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words in length, not including “Works Cited,” and prepared in accordance with MLA style. Please forward manuscripts as MS Word attachments. Within the email itself include name, affiliation, 250-word abstract, and any other relevant information. Submissions should be directed to Paradoxa’s guest editor, El Hadji Malick Ndiaye at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 15, 2015. For more information about Paradoxa see www.paradoxa.com
Les voix contemporaines du Sénégal
Les éditions Paradoxa recherchent des contributions pour un ouvrage collectif sur les discours sénégalais contemporains. Le Sénégal est un pays phare en Afrique pour son dynamisme intellectuel, littéraire et artistique, avec des figures universellement reconnues—Cheikh Anta Diop, Senghor, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Sembene Ousmane, Mariama Bâ. A côté de ces pionniers. de jeunes écrivains et cinéastes sénégalais continuent de développer un des champs de production les plus créatrices du continent. Paradoxalement, le corpus sénégalais contemporain n’a pas encore fait l’objet d’une étude thématique. Ce projet propose de faire un état des lieux de la littérature et du cinéma au Sénégal à travers une série d’articles et d’entretiens. L’objet étant de réunir enfin dans un ouvrage académique les auteurs et cinéastes qui représentent la nouvelle création sénégalaise. Il s’agit d’explorer la richesse et la diversité des voix sénégalaises d’aujourd’hui mais aussi d’analyser leurs tendances comme rupture ou perpétuation d’une tradition intellectuelle. Nous encourageons des propositions relatives à la fiction littéraire et au cinéma sans oublier d’autres pratiques d’écriture en vigueur dans l’espace sénégalais (essais politiques, pamphlets satiriques, etc). Sans être exclusif, nous proposons quelques pistes à explorer.
Auteurs et intellectuels: Ken Bugul, Moussa Touré, Boubacar Boris Diop, Fatou Diome, Sokhna Benga, Safi Faye, Khady Sylla, Nafissatou Dia Diouf, Alain Gomis, Felwine Sarr, Oumar Sankharé, Rama Salla Dieng, Ramatou Seck Samb, Tidiane Ndiaye, Ousmane Sow, Joseph Gaye Ramaka, Moussa Sène Absa, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Abibatou Traoré Kemgné, Laurence Gavron, Cheikh Alioune Ndao, Mansour Sora Wade, Djibril Diop Mambety, Louis Camara, Dyana Gueye, Samba Felix Ndiaye, Ben Diogaye, Sylvie Kandé, Abasse Ndione.
Themes: les écrivains et cinéastes postcoloniaux, les écrits sur la politique, la pensée sénégalaise contemporaine, l’écriture féminine contemporaine, l’écriture régionale, la poésie sénégalaise post-senghorienne, la nouvelle diaspora sénégalaise, littérature et société, la poésie soufie, langues nationales et création, les problématiques de traduction…
Nous sollicitons des articles en anglais (protocole MLA), sauf contribution exceptionnelle. Les articles devront faire entre 6000 et 10000 mots sans la notice bibliographique, en interligne double et Times New Roman. Merci d’envoyer votre proposition de 300 mots, une courte biographie et votre affiliation à El Hadji Malick Ndiaye, Seattle University avant le 15 février 2015: email@example.com. Pour toute information supplémentaire, envoyez vos questions aux coordonnateurs du volume ou visitez le site www.paradoxa.com
Volume 29 Small Screen Fiction
Call for Papers (anticipated publication date: December, 2017)
Editors: Astrid Ensslin (Bangor University, Bangor, Wales); Paweł Frelik (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland); Lisa Swanstrom (Florida-Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)
In the last few decades, digital technologies have dramatically reconfigured not only the circumstances of media production and dissemination, but also many of their cultural forms and conventions, including the roles of users, producers, authors, audiences, and readers. Arguably the most spectacular of these digital transformations have affected the large screens of cinema multiplexes and the increasingly large screens of home televisions, but other narrative forms have emerged on a smaller screens as well.
Today, with growing frequency, narratives are experienced on the smaller screens of laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. These narratives often involve direct reader/viewer/player interaction, enabling highly idiosyncratic, individualized and unique narrative experiences. Some of these fictions are merely digitized or wikified versions of texts previously available in the codex form—their digital conversion affects some of the ways in which readers engage with them, but the basic structures of these narratives remain unchanged. Some others, however, have been written and designed (these two words often blur) specifically for these small screens. Their functionalities and affordances are not replicable in any other medial form, nor do they demonstrate an allegiance to any single pre-existing art form.
Paradoxa seeks articles for a special issue devoted to “Small Screen Fictions.” Both in-depth analyses of individual texts and more general, theoretical discussions are invited. The genres and media of interest include but are not limited to:
• DVD novels, such as Steve Tomasula’s TOC (2009);
• literary-narrative video games and ludic, gamelike fictions whose principal interest is in offering innovative storytelling experiences, such as Dear Esther (2012) and Device6 (2013);
• twitter and blog texts, such as Jennifer Egan’s “Black Box” (2012);
• collectively written, locative online texts, particularly those breaking narrative linearity, such as Hundekopf (2007), The LA Flood Project (2013) and The Silent History (2013);
• interactive graphic novels, such as Nam Le’s The Boat (2014);
• genre-bending, dialogic hybrids, such as Blast Theory’s Karen (2015);
• neo-hypertextual fictions enabled by user-friendly authoring software such as Twine;
• physically distributed narratives that make use of small screen spaces, not merely to create and display fictions, but also to navigate, negotiate, and interact with real-world spaces through geo-caching or other means, such as Ingress (2013), Cartegram (2014), and Call of the Wild (2015).
Similarly, possible approaches to such screen texts include but are not limited to:
• the changing cultural patterns and expectations of engagement with narrative;
• the reality and illusions of linearity and non-linearity;
• the shifting nature of public and private spectatorship;
• the role of touch and tactility, as well as other human senses in experiencing narratives;
• the blurring of the verbal and the visual, of fact and fiction, of reading and writing, of natural and artificial;
• the economic, social, and political contexts of authorship and readership of such texts;
• the implications of such narrative experiences for the meaning(s) and perceptions of fiction, genre and literature.
Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted by 1 March 2016 to the editors: Astrid Ensslin < firstname.lastname@example.org>, Pawel Frelik < email@example.com> Lisa Swanstrom < firstname.lastname@example.org>. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 1 April 2016. Full drafts (6,000 to 8,000 words) will be due by 1 October 2016.
Volume 30 (Political) Prisoner Narratives
(anticipated publication date December, 2018)
The Call for Papers is in preparation