If one were to judge the genre of science fiction by the
blockbuster films it has produced, one would think it is a hypermasculine,
imperialist, anti-feminist genre. However, non-white, non-male people have
shaped, defined, and sustained the genre throughout its existence as authors,
editors, and fans. The modern founder of the genre was arguably Mary Shelley
who initially published anonymously. However, authors like Ursula Le Guin and
Octavia Butler are now synonymous with literary sci-fi. Furthermore, some of
the most compelling and successful contemporary writers of science fiction are
women of color. This shows how the genre has been consistently built by women
while at the same time, the recognition for women’s contributions has grown and
the diversity of perspectives has continued to evolve. But there remains far
more work to be done.
In this panel we invite projects related to the role of
women, trans and non-binary people in science fiction as well as explorations
of the role of gender in the genre. Some questions that could be investigated
--What role have women, trans, and non-binary people had in
shaping the genre?
--More specifically, what role have women, trans, and
non-binary people of color had in shaping the genre?
--How has the genre allowed for expansive definitions of
gender and sexuality?
--How is the genre uniquely suited for feminist and queer
critiques of culture?
--Conversely, how has it historically foreclosed the
possibilities of gender and sexuality?
--How does world building play a part in feminist and/or
queer interventions in the genre?
--How has the genre been theorized and how does gender and
sexuality play a role in that theorization?