EVENT Mar 25
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MLA 2024 panel: Speculative Fiction and Work: Histories, Futures and Resilience [DEADLINE EXTENDED] (MLA 2024)

Organization: Modern Language Association
Event: MLA 2024
Categories: Postcolonial, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2023-03-25 Abstract Due: 2023-03-25

Please send in your abstracts for a special panel proposed by me for MLA 2024:


"Speculative Fiction and Work: Histories, Futures and Resilience"


This panel examines speculative/sci-fi re-imaginings of the exploitation of laboring, vulnerable bodies to serve an extractive society and their resistances. How to envision a socially just future shaped for and by precarious labor?

Please submit 250-word abstracts by 25 March, 2023 to schanda32@gatech.edu



Full description:


This panel traces the interconnected histories and future of labor, vulnerable populations, and their resilience. In a post-pandemic era the definition of work has undergone a sea change with the constant threat of automation. These and other technologies are changing the way we live and the way we perceive ourselves as precarious workers. Through the genre of science/speculative fiction, this panel will examine how, for many decades, vulnerable bodies, such as immigrants, minorities, and women, have been exploited for their labor to serve an extractive and capitalistic society. This also applies to the fossil fuel industries that have exploited sustainable and natural resources of minority communities forcing them to endure the labor of living a precarious life. The history of precarious labor precedes the recent pandemic and this panel invites abstracts for papers that explore the cultural past of precarious labor and the radical acts of resistance that stake a claim to a more just and sustainable future.


Submitter name: Dr. Sagnika Chanda

Institution name: Georgia Institute of Technology

Academic e-mail address: schanda32@gatech.edu

For reference, please consult:




Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction  By A. J. Fitzwater, M. Bennardo, Sean Jones


Sagnika Chanda is Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Literature, Media and Communication at Georgia Institute of Technology where she teaches classes on digital pedagogy, English literature, and communication. Her research interests are at the intersections of labor studies, social justice, speculative/ genre fiction, posthumanism and narratives from the Global South. She has worked as an oral historian for the South Asian American Digital Archive and is a communications and outreach intern for the 1947 Partition Archive project.





Sagnika Chanda