RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Friday, 27 July 2018, 14:00-14:20; Duffield Lecture Theatre

J.J. Eldridge

"The Science of Sci-fi: body/mind swapping and gender diversity"

Science fiction has a rich variety of different stories. One common trope is for characters to swap their minds or bodies and this is frequently associated with a change of sex for the characters. I’ll begin by examining some cases of this in different science fiction shows and discussing why it isn’t possible. Then I’ll take a broader view of sex and gender within science fiction, considering symbiotic/parasitic aliens, Time Lords and other examples of complex gender in alien species. Discussing how looking at these aspects give us a way to think about human sex and gender. I’ll finish off by talking about the only way that a body change may actually be possible that can be found in science fiction.