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2024 Sturgeon Symposium

The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction is pleased to announce our 3rd Annual Sturgeon Symposium, to be held October 24-25, 2024. We are delighted that Samuel R. Delany has accepted our invitation to speak at the symposium. As an innovative author, Delany has redefined the boundaries of SFF as well as literary criticism through his explorations of language, society, sexuality, and narrative form. This year's symposium acknowledges his lasting impact on science fiction, speculative fiction, and literary criticism.

CFP Submissions

Event Details

The symposium will take place over two days, featuring both virtual and in-person events to accommodate both international and local attendees:

  • Thursday: All-virtual panels

  • Thursday evening:
    • "Samuel R. Delany and Theodore Sturgeon: Exclusion, Loneliness and Difference"

    • Noël Sturgeon's presentation of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction short story and a reading from this year's winner.

    • Reception

  • Friday: In-person panels will be held throughout the day, including a panel in dialogue with Delany. Lunch included.

Call for Papers

We invite papers, panel proposals, and roundtable discussions that engage with Delany's work and influence. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Delany's impact on Afrofuturism and speculative fiction  

  • The intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality in speculative fiction 

  • Comparisons and dialogues between Delany’s and Sturgeon's works  

  • The evolution of science fiction languages and the role of linguistics   

  • Delany, form, and the influence of modernism 

  • Urban space and future cities  

  • Narratives of resistance 

  • Fan-fictional imaginings of Delany’s worlds 

  • Autobiographical elements in speculative storytelling  

  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching Delany's works 

Creative submissions that draw inspiration from Delany's oeuvre are also warmly encouraged, including speculative narrative, poetry, and visual art.

Guidelines for Proposals

  • Abstracts for individual papers should be no more than 250 words.
  • Panel proposals should list all speakers, affiliations, presentation titles, and email addresses, and include short abstracts for each presentation.
  • Roundtable proposals should list speakers, affiliations, and email addresses and include an abstract of up to 500 words on the topic to be discussed.
  • Proposals should make clear whether they are for virtual or in-person presentation.
  • Deadline for submissions: May 31
  • Notification: late June



  • Contact us at sfcenter@ku.edu.