Academic Program Track

The academic track of the 2013 Worldcon takes the form of a single day conference, to be held on Saturday, August 31, 2013.

Our call for papers particularly encouraged submissions related to the work of the LoneStarCon 3 Guests of Honor, as well as papers on Steampunk, Old West/frontier themes, and Spanish language SF. Science fiction has long benefited from works of criticism and scholarship from those outside the academy, a tradition that GoH Dr. James Gunn helped encourage. Paper proposals from both academics and non-academics (fans) have therefore been equally welcome.

Queries should be sent to the head of the academic track, Karen Burnham, at

Academic Papers Schedule

The schedule comprises six distinct one hour sessions spread throughout Saturday, and including a two-hour break for lunch.

Each session is led by an expert moderator and includes two individual paper presentations as well as an open Q&A.

The full schedule with abstracts for the whole track can be downloaded in PDF format. In summary, the sessions are as follows.

  • Adapting Folklore in Speculative Fiction: Brazil and Space Opera
    Saturday 10:00 - 11:00
    Moderator: David Farnell

  • Finding Ourselves and our Aliens in Graphic Media: Will Eisner and Jack Arnold
    Saturday 11:00 - 12:00
    Moderator: Michael Page

  • Digital Future, Martian Future: Digital Fandom and the Changing Narratives of Mars
    Saturday 14:00 - 15:00
    Moderator: Christopher Couch

  • When Do We Give Up What Makes Us Human? Cyborgs and Monstrous Utopias
    Saturday 15:00 - 16:00
    Moderator: Karen Burnham

  • Cartography of Genre: Space Opera and the Academic Legacy of Jim Gunn
    Saturday 16:00 - 17:00
    Moderator: Christopher McKitterick

  • Robert E. Howard: The Weird, West, and Worms
    Saturday 17:00 - 18:00
    Moderator: Donald M. Hassler