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One-Day Symposium on Science Fiction

One-Day Symposium on Science Fiction

One-Day Symposium on Science Fiction



One-Day Symposium on Science Fiction

Thursday, May 17

Special Collections & Archives Reading Room
Rivera Library, 4th Floor
UC Riverside

The University of California at Riverside (UCR) is one of the very few universities in the world to have a major library archive in science fiction (SF) and a substantial cohort of researchers, writers, and teachers whose work engages with SF and technoculture studies. Since our goal is to establish a degree program in the field, this one-day Symposium is geared to address issues relevant to graduate- and undergraduate-level research and teaching in SF and technoculture. Our hope is that ideas seeded at this event will find fruition in future academic initiatives at UCR.

The Symposium is free and open to the public. A buffet lunch will be served between the first and second panels. This event is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Strategic Investment Fund. For more information, please contact Rob Latham, Professor of English, UCR, at rob.latham@ucr.edu.

Panel 1: Science and Science Fiction (10:30 am – 12:00 pm)

Description: This panel will address the following topics: scientific theory and practice as an inspiration for SF, and vice versa; the role of SF in shaping popular perceptions of science and scientists; how science studies fits within the discipline of SF studies; possible avenues of collaboration between scientists, SF writers, and SF scholars.

Participants:

  • Colin Milburn, Professor of English and Technoculture Studies at UC Davis, author of Nanovision: Engineering the Future (2008)
  • Vernor Vinge, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at San Diego State University, award-winning SF author of A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and Rainbows End (2006)
  • Sherryl Vint, Professor of English, Brock University, author of Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal (2010)

Panel 2: Trends in Science Fiction Criticism (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm)

Description: This panel will address the following topics: how technoculture and digital media studies have transformed SF criticism; the role of archival research and fan studies in framing and testing theoretical views about SF; issues of politics vs. aesthetics in SF criticism; gaps and blind-spots in the scholarly record.

Participants:

  • Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., Professor of English at DePauw University, author of The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction (2008)
  • John Rieder, Professor of English at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, author of Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction (2008)
  • Lisa Yaszek, Professor of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech, author of Galactic Suburbia: Recovering Women’s Science Fiction (2008)

Panel 3: Teaching Science Fiction (3:15 pm – 4:45 pm)

Description: This panel will address the following topics: historical contexts and theoretical methods for SF pedagogy; teaching SF at the introductory, advanced undergraduate, MA, and PhD levels; teaching SF texts in non-SF contexts; potential curricular challenges of an SF and technoculture studies program.

Participants:

  • Pawel Frelik, Associate Professor of English at Marie-Curie Skodowska University and Fulbright Scholar in Residence at UCR
  • Brooks Landon, Professor of English at the University of Iowa, author of Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars (1995)
  • Lisa Swanstrom, Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University, author of numerous articles on SF, technoculture studies, and digital humanities

A buffet lunch will be served between the first and second panels.

This event is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Strategic Investment Fund.



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