Call for papers


Finncon 2022 Academic Track
Hope and Resilience
Aalto University
8–10 July 2022

In concordance with the convention theme, the Finncon 2022 Academic Track invites submissions on the closely related themes of hope and resilience. Send in abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical note to as a Word-file or equivalent by 16 January 2022.

Speculative writing is often categorized as “utopian” or “dystopian”; or, more recently, as “hopepunk” or “grimdark”. However, such broad and dichotomous descriptions often miss nuance, value only certain kinds of hope, or entrench structures they attempt to criticize. Meanwhile, resilience has become an ambivalent term, both celebrating the resistance and recovery capacity of people and heaping additional expectations on the oppressed.

We invite academic contributions engaging with the ideas and uses of hope and resilience in speculative works. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Hope and resilience across genres and subgenres, as well as across media
  • Hope and resilience as action, rather than a response to circumstance
  • Hope and resilience in their relationship to praxis: speculative fiction that demands or stimulates action
  • Ambitious theoretical work that develops nuanced approaches to the questions of hope, resilience, and related terms like utopia/dystopia
  • Strategies of resilience that draw from speculative thinking
  • Hope often looks for, or is satisfied by, something unimaginable; resilience is found, and interrogated, in unlikely places. Surprise us!

We understand speculative fiction as a broad umbrella term that includes, at least, science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, and related categories across literature, film, games, media, fan studies, and other research approaches.

We especially welcome contributions from postgraduate researchers and independent scholars. Submissions for papers in English, Finnish, or Swedish will be considered. We do not charge conference fees from participants.

Finally, we will consider proposals on any other topic of research into speculative fiction, but those falling under the conference theme will be given precedence.

Select papers from the conference will be invited for submission to Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research.


Dr Malka Older, Academic Guest of Honor
Esko Suoranta, Chair of Academic Track