Ivaylo R. Shmilev, M.A.


Doctoral Researcher


Ivaylo R. Shmilev is a doctoral researcher at Goethe-University Frankfurt, freelancer and writer. He is currently completing a PhD thesis entitled “Contact, Scarcity, Empire: Armed Conflicts and Cultural Entanglements in Anglophone Science Fiction” (supervised by Prof. Dr. Frank Schulze-Engler).

Research Interests

  • Anglophone Literary, Media and Cultural Studies
  • Transculturality and Globalisation
  • Science Fiction and Speculative Fictions in general
  • Warfare and Empire
  • Ecocriticism and Environmental Ethics
  • Complexity and Complex Adaptive Systems in Media and Cultural Studies
  • Cultural Geography, Studies of Scale, Geopolitical/Globalisation Studies

Selected Publications

Academic (peer-reviewed):

  • “From a Galactic War to a Hydrogen Sonata: Warfare and Ethics in the Culture Novels of Iain M. Banks.” Foundation 124/45.2 (2016): 57-69.


  • “Umweltimaginationen und ökologische Erzählungen in englischsprachigen Science-Fiction-Werken aus zeitgenössischen Medienkulturen außerhalb des UK und der USA.” Just Politics: Ökokritische Perspektiven im postkolonialen Raum. Ed. Fricke, Lina, et al. Münster: Unrast Verlag, 2014. 279-293.
  • “Dream Theater’s The Astonishing and Haken’s Affinity.” Rev. of The Astonishing by Dream Theater & Affinity by Haken. SFRA Review 318/Fall 2016: 36-38. http://sfra.org/resources/Pictures/SFRA%20318.pdf
  • Rev. of Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, by Kiro’o Games. SFRA Review 319/Winter 2017: 28-30. http://sfra.org/resources/Pictures/SFRA%20319.pdf

Selected Presentations

  • Conference presentation “The Empire Fragmented but Unbroken: Empire and the Circuits of Contact in the Science Fiction of Avatar“, 16th Triennial ACLALS Conference “‘The current unbroken/ the circuits kept open’: Connecting Cultures and the Commonwealth”, St. Lucia; 09.08.2013.
  • Conference presentation “From a Galactic War to a Hydrogen Sonata: Warfare and Ethics in the Culture Novels of Iain M. Banks”, “Diversity in Speculative Fiction” – the academic track of LonCon3 (72nd World Science Fiction Convention), London, UK; 18.08.2014.
  • Conference presentation “Oppression, Warfare and Transcultural Memory in the Complex Post-Apocalyptic Environments of the T.A.L.K.E.R. Game Series”, 6th annual Current Research in Speculative Fiction (CRSF) Conference, Liverpool, UK; 27.06.2016.
  • Conference presentation “The Knowledge and Practice of Galactic War: Warfare As a Complex System in the Culture Series of Iain M. Banks”, “Systems and Knowledge” – the 2016 Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) Conference, Liverpool, UK; 29.06.2016.
  • Academic presentation for a general audience “Long-form Storytelling in Science Fiction Videogames”, part of WorldCon 75 (75th World Science Fiction Convention), Helsinki, Finland; 10.08.2013.

Professional Memberships


  • Proseminar “Anglophone Science Fiction Novels and Films”, at Goethe-University Frankfurt, winter semester 2012-2013.
  • Workshop “Ecocriticism and Environmental Imagination in Anglophone Science Fiction: A Crash Course”, at “Just Politics? – Postcolonial Ecocriticism between Imagination and Occupation”, the 11th GNEL/ASNEL Summer School, University of Potsdam, summer semester 2013.
  • Proseminar “Empire and Contact in Anglophone Science Fiction”, at Goethe-University Frankfurt, winter semester 2013-2014.
  • Blockseminar “Crossing Real and Imagined Borders between Minds: Empire, Conflict and Peace in Anglophone Science Fiction”, at “Border Stories: Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Communication in the 20th and 21st Centuries”, the 12th GAPS (AAPS) Summer School, University of Augsburg, summer semester 2015.
  • Proseminar “Armed Conflict and Cultural Similarity in Anglophone Science Fiction Visual/Interactive Media”, at Goethe-University Frankfurt, winter semester 2016-2017.