Executive Summary

SF/F Now is an international conference with a primary focus on interdisciplinarity, uniting Social Sciences, Life Sciences and the Humanities in an investigation of the way key social and political issues that transcend traditional academic boundaries are conceived and represented in the social imaginary, through the lens of imaginative literature.

Resonating with the new suite of interdisciplinary modules presented through IATL, and coming just before the beginning of Warwick’s first full module dedicated to imaginative literature (EN361, beginning in Oct 2014, run by the applicants, which has gained a very high subscription rate, including from other departments), this conference is an excellent opportunity for Warwick undergraduates to be introduced to the issues, range of methodologies and potential of the interdisciplinary approaches represented. These include Energy Studies, Animal Studies. Ecological Studies, Science Studies, World Systems Theory and a focus on the politics of crisis and protest.

Rather than a usual conference format, undergraduates attending will benefit from horizontally organised 2-hour workshops, convened in each case by a pair of international specialists, with pre-set readings. This format emphasises collaboration and fosters community, with students not only learning about the topics through discussion and debate in groups where undergraduates, post-graduates and leading international academics will mix on equal footing, but also being given the space and the means to participate fully as independent producers and researchers within that community. This provides a very unusual opportunity particularly for undergraduates to grow in confidence and knowledge in a relaxed and informal environment. All workshops will be recorded and made available online.