EVENT Oct 26
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PAMLA 2023 Panel: Bodies of the Future (Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association)

Portland, Oregon
Organization: Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
Event: Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2023-10-26 to 2023-10-29 Abstract Due: 2023-05-31

This panel aims to explore the role of futuristic bodies as spaces for addressing contemporary issues such as gender and race equity, climate change, and income inequality. Science fiction and speculative fiction confront us with the uncanny, asking us to question the boundaries between our reality and fictional-yet-possible futures. Centering the body, often porous and precarious, in these texts positions us to imagine the future of humanity, and encourages us to think critically about perspective shifts we must make today to enable a better tomorrow. As Michel Foucault (1980) states, “the body is given meaning and wholly constituted by discourse. The body vanishes as a biological entity and becomes instead a socially constituted product which is infinitely malleable and highly unstable.” Reading the futuristic body through this lens illuminates ways in which we can (re)envision and (re)construct our present.

We invite paper proposals that interrogate the shifting roles of bodies (physical and metaphorical) from present to future. How are bodies depicted in media that imagines the future? What role does biopolitics play in shaping bodies of the future? How do future-bodies imagine solutions to or highlight the extent of today’s problems? Abstracts should be submitted through the PAMLA portal (https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/).

We welcome considerations of bodies from myriad perspectives such as:

  • Gendered and/or racialized bodies
  • Ill/diseased bodies
  • Disabled/debilitated bodies
  • Queer bodies
  • Bodies and ecology
  • Body politic
  • Biopolitics
  • Hybrid bodies
  • Cyborg/robotic/android bodies
  • Invented/created/built bodies
  • Othered bodies
  • Collective bodies
  • Phenomenological bodies
  • Afrofuturism and Indigenous futurism
  • Post and transhumanism


Sara Santos