Science Fictions, pOpular cultures Academic Conference


Kona Coast, Big Island of Hawaii, September 13-16, 2018



SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES is an academic conference which runs in conjunction with HawaiiCon (September 13-16, 2018) with an opening reception on Thursday evening) on the sunny western Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Lani Bay HotelReserve by clicking here

The inaugural theme of SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES is: "Beyond Boundaries." Science fiction adventures go where none had gone...Artists are not bounded by one media or platform...Science pushes the limits of what is fiction to discover what is fact...Popular culture erases the divides of academic disciplines...

The deadline for priority peer review has passed and the program is quite full with an interesting variety of scholarship.  However, additional proposals will be accepted and reviewed with acceptance of quality work being dependent upon our ability to find room in the program schedule. For more information about submitting for this year's program: click here

The program has not yet been fit into a schedule, but we are pleased to announce the acceptance of proposals by the following scholars:


  • Jerold Abrams, Creighton University: Voltaire’s Science Fiction Philosophy;Micromegas: A Philosophic Story
  • Steve Bein, University of Dayton: Philosofiction: Science Fiction As Vehicle For Philosophical Inquiry
  • Brooke Carlson, Chaminade University of Honolulu: Rac(e)ing Down the Self in Time & on TV: The Humans, Electric Dreams, & Black Mirror
  • Carrie Cole,Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Elisabetta  Di Minico, Autonomous University of Madrid: X-Men Saga And The “Otherness”: Diversity As Element Of Crisis In Fictional And Real Dystopias
  • George Dunn, University of Indianapolis: The Problem of Suffering in Jonathan Nolan’s Westworld
  • Laura Goodin: Allowed to Be a Hero:  Disruptive Diversity in Victorian Genre Fiction
  • Timothy  Harvie, St. Mary’s University, Calgary: Mirror, Mirror: Star Trek Discovery As Cultural Criticism
  • Corey Horn, Eastern Washington University: What is Philosophy of Popular Culture For?
  • Charles Horn, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point: Virtual Virtue: Cultivating Morals Through Video Games
  • Randall Jensen, Northwestern College: Shall We Play A Game? Teaching Philosophy Through Science Fiction
  • David Kyle Johnson, King’s College: Do We Live in a Computer Simulation? Using Sci-Fi to Calculate the Odds.
  • Clint  Jones, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point: An Analysis Of Terrorist Organizations In Popular Graphic Novels And Their Relevance For Shaping Socio-Political Discourse About Terror
  • Greg  Littmann, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: H.P. Lovecraft’s Philosophy of Science-Fiction Horror
  • Michael MacLeod, St Mary’s University: Empires in Decline: What Popular Sci-Fi Can Teach Us About America and the Future of International Relations
  • Mimi  Marinucci, Eastern Washington University: Singularity and Sex Robots
  • Jeffery Nicholas, Providence College: "I Aim To Misbehave": Mal’s Journey From Alienation to Agency
  • James Okapal, Missouri Western State University: Disentangling Human Nature From Moral Status In The Works Of Philip K. Dick
  • Stefan Rabitsch, University of Graz, Austria: James Cook, Horatio Hornblower, And James T. Kirk Meet On The Cosmic Shores Of The Pacific: The Secret British (Hi)story Of Star Trek
  • Brendan Shea, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science: Miracles and Laws of Nature in “Ready Player One”
  • Timothy Slater, University of Wyoming: Best Firearms for Surviving the Imminent Zombie Apocalypse
  • Stephanie Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research: Astronomy, the Passionate Science?; Eclipses in Science Fictions
  • Donna White, Arkansas Tech University: Nietzsche Tells the Time: Creating the Superman in Watchmen
  • John Whitmire, Jr., Western Carolina University: Fantasy World-building through Exemplar Characters: Justice in The Lord of the Rings

All presenters are invited to contribute a scholarly, written version of their presentation to our academic, peer-reviewed proceedings for the conference, to be published at the end of the calendar year (and suitable for promotion and tenure performance reviews).

Accepted presenters may also be invited to participate in HawaiiCon public panels. Attendance to the entirety of the larger HawaiiCon conference is included with the SFPC registration fee, as well as a copy of the published peer-reviewed, academic proceedings.  HawaiiCon serves as the annual inclusive gathering of science fiction fans, comic book enthusiasts, creative cosplayers, anime followers, avid gamers, future-envisioning authors, cultural practitioners, Geek-film featurettes, comic and fantasy artists, authors, screen writers and Hollywood’s science fiction producers, voice actors, and movie/television stars, along with vendors, musicians, teachers, students, scientists, and popular culture & science fiction scholars.  Held each September on the Big Island of Hawai’i as a 501(c)3 non-profit fundraiser for STEAM education for children on the Island, this is the con you don’t want to miss!


  • Dr. Jason T. Eberl, St. Louis University, co-author of Star Trek & Philosophy
  • Dr. Carrie J. Cole, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, science fiction theatre scholar
  • Dr. Stephanie J. Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research, socio-cultural scholar
  • Dr. Timothy F. Slater, University of Wyoming, science education scholar

REGISTRATION FEE:  The four-day registration fee is $379 and includes access to all HawaiiCon Celebrity and academic sessions held at the hotel conference center, including those with scientists and media guests: The entertainment industry guest line up is updated frequently.  Please pay the registration fee by selecting this link.  Both printed and electronic copies of the published proceedings are included as part of the paid registration fee.  All presenters and participants pay the registration fee.

CONFERENCE HOTEL:  The conference hotel is is nestled on a white sandy beaches along the western the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Mauna Lani Bay HotelBook your rooms directly with us for convention exclusive rates.  Rooms start at just $220/night and include free parking and so much more.  Reserve by clicking here, although  lately people seem to have the best luck by calling them directly and asking for the HawaiiCon rate.

PRESENTATION PROPOSALS:  Scholarly, academic presentation proposals are being peer-reviewed starting immediately on a rolling basis for the conference with notifications sent on the first day of each month after initial submission, with priority acceptance date of May 15, 2018 (although later submissions may be considered). 200-300 word summary abstracts and 100 word biographical sketches are to be submitted to Conference Co-Chair Carrie J. Cole using the online form available by clicking here.  Academic, peer-reviewed proceedings will be published at the conclusion of this conference.