Parenting in Speculative Fiction (Panel)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies / Women's and Gender Studies

Emily Lauer (SUNY Suffolk County Community College)

Misha Grifka (Ohio State University)

While the theme of family inheritance is often important in speculative fiction, it is usually emphasized from the perspective of the child, dealing with the mess or gifts left by their parents. In this panel, we invite essays that focus on the parents instead. In dystopian fiction such as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, in space opera such as The Expanse, and in fantasy such as The Fifth Season, protagonists' status as parents help define them and contribute to their characterization, priorities, and worldview. Parents in speculative fiction face the ordinary challenges of parenting, but are also confronted by extraordinary difficulties and, potentially, opportunities. When the protagonists are parents, speculative fiction can gain richness and depth. We invite essays that analyze and interpret parent characters in a range of speculative fiction in a range of media and from a range of eras.
Parents in speculative fiction face the ordinary challenges of parenting, but are also confronted by extraordinary difficulties and, potentially, opportunities. We invite essays that analyze and interpret parent characters in a range of speculative fiction in a range of media and from a range of eras.