Philip K. Dick’s Short Fiction (Panel) – Hartford, Connecticut, March 17-20, 2016
Brad Congdon / NeMLA 2016
In an unpublished forward to The Preserving Machine, Philip K. Dick lamented that “As a writer builds up a novel-length piece it slowly begins to imprison him, to take away his freedom.” Dick, who has published five volumes of short fiction, argued that short-story writing allows for freedom, crisis, and action, in contrast to the stultifying process of novel writing. “It is in SF stories,” he claimed, “that SF action occurs.”
Dick occupies a unique position in culture: films based on his works (e.g. Bladerunner, Total Recall) have grossed over a billion dollars worldwide, while scholars have made him one of the most widely analyzed writers of the 20th century. Dick criticism is itself something of a cottage industry, with many of the most influential critics of postmodernism (e.g. Baudrillard, Jameson, McHale) focusing on his work. Taken together, there are hundreds of monographs, articles, book chapters, and dissertations dedicated to Dick. However, despite this surfeit of scholarship, Dick’s short stories have been largely overlooked. This oversight is all the more significant, given that many of the ideas of his novels are first tested in his stories (e.g. “Shell Game,” “The Defenders,” “Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday”) and many have been adapted into films (e.g. “The Minority Report,” “Adjustment Team,” “The Golden Man”).
This session aims to bring new critical perspectives to a neglected facet of Dick’s work. Of particular interest are papers that avoid or challenge the standard lines of Dick criticism (e.g. Marxist, Postmodernist) and instead take novel approaches to the author’s short stories, for example: periodical studies, material culture, history of the book; feminist, queer, and masculinity studies; ecocriticism; psychoanalysis; short story theory; etc. We welcome abstracts for papers of between 15 and 20 minutes’ length on any topic related to Dick’s short fiction.
Paper abstracts of 300 words are to be submitted electronically only
at the following address:
Link to panel:
Deadline: October 15, 2015
Categories: Non ACCUTE CFPs