Announcing the 2020 SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTUREs Academic Conference

devoted to cross-disciplinary, cross-genre, and cross-media scholarship.

SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES is a scholarly academic conference which runs in conjunction with HawaiiCon (September 24-27, 2020) with talks starting mid-morning Thursday (followed by an opening reception on Thursday evening) through Sunday evening held on the sunny western coast on the Big Island of Hawai’i at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.  We’re just 15 miles south of the Kona KOA International Airport.

The theme of SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES is: Beyond Boundaries.

  • Just as science fiction adventures boldly go where none has gone...

  • Just as artists are not bounded by one media or platform...

  • Just as science pushes the limits of what is fiction to discover what is fact...

  • Just as science fiction constantly defies and defines the parameters of genre...

  • Just as popular culture erases the divides of academic disciplines...

SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES seeks to both defy and redefine how the academy views science fiction and popular culture—and the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of those working across these fields. An academic, peer-reviewed and refereed Conference Proceedings will be published in conjunction with the event.  A sample of papers from the 2018 conference are available here.

SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES is soliciting 15- to 20-minute academic presentations from a wide spectrum of disciplines addressing the narratives and performances of science, science fiction, and popular entertainment across media, platforms, and cultures. As scholars, we create dynamic intersections with the extensive public programming at HawaiiCon which leverages the intellectual engagement audiences bring to their enthusiastic appreciation and deep knowledge of pop culture. The growing list of entertainers, authors, and actors attending who you can interact with are listed online.


While we are particularly interested in creating intersections with programming at HawaiiCon in the form of lively panel discussions that augment scholarly papers and, all suitable, scholarly academic presentations of science fiction and popular culture will be considered by the conference proposal peer reviewers. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • World-building in genres & across media

  • Popular interpretations and implications of Science Fictions

  • Science in/of Science Fiction

  • Playing Science/Science Fiction (cosplay, games, gaming)

  • Star Wars vs Star Trek: Who Has Better Astronomy?

  • Hidden Mathematics Revealed in Science Fiction

  • Encryption and Privacy in Science Fiction and Daily Life

  • Time Travel, Special Relativity, and Imperial Cruiser Travel Times

  • STEM, STEAM, and Science Fiction

  • The Science of World-building in the Genre

  • Science as Popular Culture and the Popularity of Science

  • Teaching of/with Science Fiction (across disciplines)

  • Teaching College Classes with Comics and Popular Culture

  • Translating/Adapting Science Fiction across media and cultures

  • Interdisciplinary Science Fictions

  • Cultures of Science Fictions

  • Cultures of Science Fiction fandom

  • Performing Science/Science Fiction (live and mediated)

  • What Fuels Serenity? Real Propulsion Systems in Science Fiction Spaceships

  • Firearms VS Vampires: Which Firearms and Ammo Should Buffy Carry?

  • Playing Science/Science Fiction (cosplay, games, gaming)

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 $399 ($279 early-bird registration until May 15) and includes access to all 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.

[JUST ANNOUNCED: $99 per person HawaiiCon 4-day passes are available for traveling companions of SFPC registrants -> click here to purchase companion passes granting access to all general HawaiiCon events and the added ability to purchase additional add-on tours, banquet tickets, and photo-ops with the stars]

CONFERENCE HOTEL:  Our beautiful conference hotel is located right on the water just south of Kailua-Kona on the sunny western coast on the Big Island of Hawai’i, the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.  We’re located just 15 miles south of the Kona KOA International Airport. Book your rooms directly with us for convention exclusive rates.  Rooms start at just $189/night and include free parking, free Internet-access, and so much more — all without paying additional resort fees! 

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 (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. Download the CFP Call for Papers here.

Sign up to receive updated information about the Science Fictions & Popular Cultures Conference as soon as it becomes available.




For specific questions, please email conference co-chair Dr. Carrie Cole from the Indiana University at Pennsylvania at