Call for Academic Proposals for DisCon III

DisCon III, the 2021 World Science Fiction Convention, will include an academic program area to feature critical reviews and analyses of works and themes in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres works, as well as presentations on subjects related to those genres. The academic program will consist of solo presentations, paper panels, and themed panel discussions, to be conducted both in person and online. Solo presentations should take 20-25 minutes and will be paired together based on complementary subject matters. Paper panels should consist of two presenters plus a moderator and will last 60 minutes. Themed panel discussions should consist of two to four speakers plus a moderator and will last 60 minutes.

We welcome submissions from academics, including those new to academia, and non-academics. Discon III welcomes and encourages submissions by and relating to groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in genre literature, media, and studies. We are looking for work in the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, and technology, with particular interest in the following subjects:

  • Political science
  • Law in science fiction and fantasy
  • Cultural influences on international genre works
  • Linguistics and translation
  • New interpretations of classic genre works
  • Online communities and subcultures
  • Changes and developments in the distribution of genre media
  • Depictions of technology in fiction and media, including cultural variations and iterations
  • Horror as changing representation of culture and society
  • The shifting fantasy genre and its relationship to creators and audience

Submission Guidelines

Applicants should submit a proposal with a title of no more than 48 characters and an abstract of no more than 500 characters, and should indicate whether they prefer an in-person or online program slot. Panel abstracts should include a list of speakers who have agreed to participate. DisCon III strongly encourages applications that feature diverse and representative panel participants. Applicants may submit up to three proposals, but we accept only one solo presentation proposal. Please use the form at to submit your proposals.

Submissions will close on August 31 and notifications will be sent out by September 30. All accepted speakers must have a DisCon membership for the date of their presentation or panel. If institutional support is not available, please email us at for information regarding a membership for the presentation day only. Presenters who wish to attend the entire convention but cannot afford to do so are encouraged to see if they are eligible for the Capitalize! Fan Fund.