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Finfar XIV

What is Finfar?

Finfar 2013, Finncon’s academic conference, will gather together the foremost experts and students of fantasy and science fiction for two days at the University of Helsinki. Students and scholars of all levels are welcome; we welcome people from all around the world: texts are welcome in English, Finnish, and Swedish.

Due to the participatory nature of the conference and limitations on time and space, the conference is open only for the participants and designated commentators.

Call for Papers

[Available as PDF here]


Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki

Thu & Fri 4–5 July, 2013

The traditional meeting of science fiction and fantasy scholars is again hosted in conjunction with Finncon. This year we focus on opposing forces.

Whether in vintage pulp space invasion fiction or modern tales of cultural conflicts, the grist of fantastic and science fiction is born when two opposing forces collide. Since the early days of oral storytelling, conflicts and arguments have been the beating heart of all fiction. Conflict is nearly always born of an opposing force that rises to challenge an existing status quo. Science fiction offers the perfect platform for discussing the great questions of humanity: human rights, world view conflicts, the wish for immortality – From Gilgamesh to Avatar, fantastic fiction has offered its tellers and audience a possibility of seeing our world from a new view limited only by our imagination.

We invite abstracts that approach from various angles the birth, triumph and fall of opposing forces.

Our guest scholar this year is Dr Stefan Ekman from the University of Lund, Sweden. Ekman’s research focuses on fantasy, and he has worked as a scholar, teacher, researcher, and the leader of IAFA’s (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts) fantasy division. Our other commentators this year are Irma Hirsjärvi, Liisa Rantalaiho and Markku Soikkeli from the University of Tampere, Merja Polvinen and Paula Arvas from the University of Helsinki and Sofia Sjö from Åbo Akademi.

We welcome all kinds of work focusing on science fiction and fantasy, whether you are working towards a seminar essay, article, MA thesis or a PhD. Papers can be in either Finnish, Swedish or English, but if you wish to receive feedback from the international participants in the seminar, we recommend writing in English. We also aim to produce a joint publication in English on the basis of selected seminar papers.

Please send your 300-word abstract by April 31st to (Word or RTF). Selection will be made and further instructions sent during May. The final paper should be 10,000–15,000 characters in length. Depending on the amount of abstracts we receive, we will try to accommodate papers not directly related to the seminar’s theme.

Welcome to Helsinki!


Organising committee:

Jari Käkelä, Mika Loponen, Merja Polvinen, Päivi Väätänen

FINFAR – Finnish Network of Fantasy Research

Finncon 2013 (
Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki