The NavyCon series discusses naval history, current issues, issues raised in how science fiction addresses navies of today, and what navies can learn from science fiction.
2020A: A call for papers (Event Date: November 5, 2020)
NavyCon 2020-A, a joint virtual presentation of Texas A&M University’s Glasscock Center for the Humanities Science and Technology Working Group and the Naval Academy Museum, seeks papers that will examine the interactions of naval power and great power politics as presented in science fiction media.
Please send all submissions and inquiries to Ian Boley (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than midnight on September 7, 2020
- We are looking for: analytical papers about any aspect of naval power, including the use of naval infantry, counter-piracy actions, acquisitions, R&D, logistics, intelligence, leadership, etc. We are also looking for papers that seek to explain aspects of great power competition, again in the broad sense, so long as they intersect with naval power in some way. Finally, all presentations must be grounded primarily—though not exclusively—in science fiction works.
- What counts as a science fiction work? Pretty much anything. We will be looking for a mix of easily-accessible standbys—Star Wars and Star Trek—and less widely-known works. We encourage and will seriously consider submissions across the following non-exclusive list of media forms: anime (e.g. Aldnoah Zero), single-author (web) comics and limited-length graphic novels (Schlock Mercenary is OK, but we’d need convincing for something less coherent, like Green Lantern), tie-in fiction (e.g. BattleTech), video games (e.g. Master of Orion, Halo, or Mass Effect), less obviously military-focused novels and short-stories (e.g. cyberpunk works or planetary romances), and alternate histories. We also strongly desire a number of traditional military science fiction novels and short stories, as well as movies and television series. Particular attention will be given to papers that focus on both fictional naval conflicts set on Earth. The one rule: NO FANFICTION!
- We encourage response papers. Many previous NavyCon papers are far from the last word on their respective science fiction universes or specific topics. If panel submissions are made, we will address those as they arise.
- Graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply.
What is NavyCon? NavyCon is both a science fiction con and an academic conference. We want presentations that explain real-world issues through the lens of science fiction works. We seek a balance between fun and information, with the edge toward the latter. Our audience consists of current and former service personnel, academics, media figures, policymakers, and lay science fiction fans. NavyCon offers a unique opportunity to communicate complex ideas to broad audiences using familiar contexts. For past presentations: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqhAGJUIlpMw4ELUp8HIyZQ/videos
- Presentations should run from 10-12 minutes in length.
- Presenters should send a 250-word abstract of their paper, along with a 250-word context document designed to bring the presentation audience up to speed on the relevant background of the science fiction work used for discussion—this is to lessen the burden of exposition in the presentation in favor of more in-depth analysis. Presentations addressing multiple works should submit a backgrounder for each work.
- Submissions should include the presenter’s name, email address, and current position.
- Before the final conference, all selected presenters will be required to submit a backup video of their presentation to be shown in the event of technical issues during the livestream.
Please send all submissions and inquiries to Ian Boley (email@example.com) no later than midnight on September 7, 2020.
- 2020: “Navies, Science Fiction, and the Return to Great Power Competition”
- 2017: "Navies in Science Fiction"