Representing Witches in the Speculative Turn: Decolonial and Feminist Readings of SF

Historical figurations of the witch rely on the creation and perpetuation of sexist colonial epistemologies. The Speculative Fiction (SF) genre encompasses possibilities for rewriting these histories, remaking the here and now, and imagining futures otherwise. This panel brings together scholars and writers focused on feminist and decolonial readings of and interventions in SF.


Paula Barba Guerrero, "Memory Whispers: De/colonial Healing in N.K. Jemisin’s 'Red Dirt Witch'"

Paula Barba Guerrero is a PhD candidate and a research fellow at the English Department of the University of Salamanca, Spain, where she is writing a doctoral dissertation on contemporary African American literature. Her research interests comprise space and memory studies, black speculative fiction, vulnerability theory, and what hospitality entails for the so-called ‘ethnic minorities’ in the US

Miguel Sebastián-Martín and Sara Segura-Arnedo, "Bewitching the Witch-Hunters: Pablo Agüero’s Akelarre (2020) as a Meta-Fantastic Critique of the Ideologies of Witchcraft"

Miguel Sebastián-Martín (@MigSebastianMar on Twitter) is a full-time predoctoral researcher at the English department of the University of Salamanca (Spain), where he works towards a PhD thesis on contemporary speculative fiction produced within so-called "new media" platforms. Some of his most recent research work has been published in journals such as Science Fiction Studies and Utopian Studies, among others. Previously, he completed the MPhil on Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he presented a thesis about anticapitalistic SF in VOD platforms. In parallel to his main line of research, he has collaborated with Sara Segura-Arnedo for a conference paper and a research article about representations of witchcraft in the American series Once Upon a Time.

Sara Segura-Arnedo holds a degree in English studies from the University of Salamanca (Spain), and an MPhil in Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature from the University of Cambridge. Now an independent, part-time researcher, in the past she has written about representations and subversions of gender in literary and audio-visual narratives, like Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad or the ABC-Disney series Once Upon a Time. In parallel to her main line of research, she has collaborated with Miguel Sebastián-Martín for a conference paper and a research article about representations of witchcraft in the American series Once Upon a Time.

Miguel Sebastian Martin wearing a plaid shirt against a white wall
Miguel Sebastian-Martin
Sara Segura-Arnedo against a dark backdrop smiling, wearing a white shirt
Sara Segura-Arnedo