Academic Track

The Academic Track is a long-established part of Finncon, one of the largest European science fiction and fantasy conventions and a meeting point for academics from all over the world. In 2024, the theme of Finncon as well as the Academic Track is ”Worlds”. The Finncon Academic Track is arranged in co-operation with Finfar – The Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research and the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä.

Organizers: Oskari Rantala, Tanja Välisalo, Jyrki Korpua, Venla Korhonen

Friday 5 July

Fantastic Paper Workshop

A paper workshop organized by Finfar – The Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. Open only for participants.

See CFP on Finfar Website

Saturday 6 July

Session 1: Dystopias
11:00-12:30 Room C5

FILIP R. ZAHARIEV Lund University
The Anthropogenic Dystopia of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Cage of Souls

Virtual Worlds within Dystopian Storyworlds: Double Negation in Unė Kaunaitė’s “2084” and Piia Leino’s “Heaven”

MARJUT PUHAKKA University of Oulu
The World After the Zombie Apocalypse

Academic Guest of Honor Keynote Speech
14:00-15:00 Room C1

JYRKI KORPUA University of Oulu
From Middle-earth to Duckburg. Worlds of Fantastic Mythmaking and Mythbreaking. On J.R.R. Tolkien’s Linguistic Sub-Creation and Carl Barks’ Organic World Building; and some Contemporary comparisons

Chair: Aino-Kaisa Koistinen

Session 2: Media and Materialities
15:00-16:30 Room C5

EERO SUORANTA University of Helsinki
Gods and Demons on Motorcycles: Technological Worldbuilding in the Chinese Animated Films New Gods: Nezha Reborn and Green Snake

THOMAS APPERLEY Tampere University (& Ian Sturrock and Susanne Ylönen)
Depicting Dungeons, Drawing Dragons: Comparing the traditions of TTRPG art in the UK and USA, 1977-1987

AINO-KAISA KOISTINEN University of the Arts Helsinki Research Institute (& Line Henriksen)
Speculative site-specific writing

Sunday 7 July

Session 3: Worldbuilding and World-ending
11:00-12:30 Room C5

Examinations of world-building, a development of the narrative conventions: within the lore of the Maasverse as a commentary on ethical, social, and ecological issues in the 21st century

ELIZABETH OAKES University of Helsinki
A Style of Altered Consciousness and the Poetics of Unreliable Worldbuilding

ESSI VATILO Tampere University
When Is It OK to End the World? – The Ethics of Deliberate Civilisation Collapse in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Dan Simmons’s The Fall of Hyperion

Session 4: Perspectives on speculative fiction and research
12:30-14:00 Room C5

GAO WEIMING University of Liverpool
Global South Writing in the Chinese Context: The Third World Imagination in Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction

ESSI VARIS University of Helsinki
Thinking Like A Trickster: Towards Speculative Research Methodologies

JANI YLÖNEN University of Jyväskylä
Repression of and Pressure to Reproduce in Young Adult Science Fiction

Special Academic Roundtable: Nordic Speculative Fiction
15:00-16:00 Room C5

Special academic roundtable with the editors of the forthcoming
anthology on Nordic speculative fiction – Jyrki Korpua and Aino-Kaisa Koistinen.