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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Please click on the link to go to the election ballot;

Closing date: 25 January 2013.

President: Sydney Duncan
First Vice President: Dale Knickerbocker and Karen Hellekson
2nd Vice President: Karen Burnham
Public Information Officer: Concetta Bommarito; Gerry Canavan; Stacie Hanes

Candidates for President:

  • Sydney Duncan

Qualifications: The President should have served a term on the Board as either an elected or appointed officer

Role: The President is the chief executive officer, responsible for directing and coordinating all functions of the organization, including the annual conference, the quarterly journal, other sponsored publications, the Awards Program, and public relations of all kinds. The President sets the agenda for, and presides at, all meetings of the Executive Board and the annual Business meeting at the ICFA. The President is also the chief planning officer, responsible for setting agendas in all Association projects. The President oversees the work of the other officers, recruits special guests, seeks institutional support, confirms non-elected Board members, etc. The President is elected by majority vote of the membership of IAFA.

The President serves an additional three years as a voting member of the Board in the capacity of Immediate Past President in which capacity s/he is responsible for the organization of elections.

Sydney Duncan

I am running for president of the IAFA.  I’ve been a member of our organization for about 14 years now. I have served as a member of the board of directors for the last four years in an extended term as second vice-president.

While second vice-president, I have doubled conference attendance among creative guests. I have contacts not only in academe, but also in the professional author/editor/artist circles of the fantastic field, so my outreach has included the convention circuit as well as the academic conference circuit. For example, in summer 2013 I am co-chairing the Computers and Writing conference, which has a steampunk theme. I am also finishing up a term as a judge for the Philip K. Dick award. I have delivered a number of conference papers and published on topics such as the Wizard of Oz and Doctor Who.

I am a tenured associate professor serving as department chair in English, which is the largest department on my campus of about 5,000 students. I currently guide a department of 20 full-time faculty. I choose the word guide deliberately, for I believe strongly in a collaborative approach to decision-making. While a department chair handles administration, proposes policy and sets agendas, she also must listen carefully to the people she represents. As president of the IAFA, I will follow these same principles of administration.

The president of the IAFA works closely with other board members to ensure the health of our organization, and our strong board of directors is a wonderful asset. The IAFA board has a number of elected and appointed members who serve integral roles in the association and in conference organization. I have a deep commitment to the IAFA.  I get along well with everyone in the IAFA organizational structure, both past and present.  I have excellent working relationships with continuing members of the board, and I feel confident that I can build similarly strong connections with the newly-elected and appointed board members.

I hope the IAFA membership will give me serious consideration as a candidate for president. I look forward to more years of service to our organization.

Dr. Sydney Duncan, Department Chair
Associate Professor of English
Frostburg State University

Candidates for 1st Vice President:

  • Karen Hellekson
  • Dale Knickerbocker

Role: The First Vice-President coordinates the ICFA Program, overseeing the work of the Division Heads and scheduling paper sessions for the Annual Conference Program. The First Vice-President also consults with the President and Second Vice-President concerning appearances by special guests in panels, readings, and lectures, and with the Conference Chair about physical arrangements such as AV equipment, room assignments, etc. The First Vice-President substitutes for the President when necessary. The First Vice-President also oversees the IAFA Graduate Student Award, including the following: advertising the award, organizing the prize committee, and collecting and forwarding submissions to the committee for a blind reading process. The First Vice-President is elected by majority vote of the membership of the IAFA.

Karen Hellekson

I am seeking the office of First Vice President of IAFA because of my long-standing interest in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, as demonstrated by my continued engagement with the field as an independent scholar. I am a regular attendee of the conference and present work on sf literature and TV, and on fan studies.

My primary practical qualification for the post is my organization. I am very good at setting up and running projects. I have experience in programming: I put together the academic programming for the Science Fiction Research Association meeting in Kansas City a few years ago. I have twice coedited (for two nonconsecutive 3-year stints) the *SFRA Review,* which involves coordinating the work of several people and enforcing tight deadlines. I am founding coeditor of the online-only academic journal *Transformative Works and Cultures,* which launched in 2008 and which has come out on time for 11 issues. I have also successfully spearheaded several edited book projects, which involves juggling deadlines, contracts, and the work of multiple contributors.

Perhaps most importantly, I am responsive, transparent, and timely.

I like to use technological tools to help me execute projects, from standard word processing, spreadsheet, and database software to task-specific open access programs, such as Open Journal Systems, the software I chose and configured to run *Transformative Works and Cultures.* I would be interested in exploring ways to use technology to help run the conference.

Dale Knickerbocker

I have been a member of the IAFA for sixteen years, and have attended the ICFA for fifteen of those. During this time, I’ve benefitted intellectually from this organization, and can credit many of my publications during this period to ideas learned and shared through the IAFA. I also owe many lasting relationships, both professional and personal, to the IAFA. For these reasons, I have accepted a nomination for the office of First Vice President with the desire to return some of the many benefits I’ve received through this service.

I currently am McMahon Distinguished Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at East Carolina University, where I have taught modern and contemporary Hispanic cultures and literatures—including Spanish-language fantasy and science fiction– for over two decades. I have published in many of the major venues in my field, including the Revista Hispánica Moderna, Anales de Literatura Española Contemporánea, the Hispanic Journal, Foundation, Extrapolation, and the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. My current research interest is in apocalyptic narratives in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina, and I have had the pleasure of guest-editing a special issue of Extrapolation on the topic of post-apocalyptic utopias and dystopias. I had the honor of serving as Head of the IAFA’s International Fantastic for six years, experience I would bring to the Vice President position if elected.  I am on the Editorial Board of the journals Extrapolation and Brumal, and am an Associate Editor of Alambique and the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, as well as a Reviews Editor of the latter. I am sincerely grateful for the nomination, and thank the membership for considering my candidacy for this office.

Candidates for 2nd Vice President:

  • Karen Burnham

Role: The Second Vice-President oversees and develops the programming track of creative guests, maintaining a current e-mail list, contacting writers to solicit proposals, organizing sessions, and consulting with the First Vice-President to schedule the creative track. This Second Vice-President oversees the 10-minute Play Festival, including the following: advertising the award, organizing the prize committee, and collecting and forwarding submissions to the committee for a blind reading process. The Second Vice-President is also responsbile for appointing someone to coordinate the directed readings of the winning plays. The First Vice-President is elected by majority vote of the membership of the IAFA.

Karen Burnham

I began attending ICFA in 2007 at the behest of Gary K. Wolfe and Charles N. Brown of Locus Magazine. I’ve presented papers at each conference since then, and consider it my favorite literary event of the year. Since I started at ICFA, I have become much more involved in the overall genre literary community. I am currently an editor at Locus magazine, overseeing their Roundtable website section. I have been tapped to organize the academic track of programming at the 2013 World Science Fiction Convention, and to help with the literary program at the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention.

The role of the second vice president of IAFA focuses on the creative writing track of the conference. I believe I am well suited for this role based on my extensive contact with many writers on a number of fronts: socially at many cons, as participants of the discussion posts that I curate on the Locus website, and as an organizer of panels for other conventions. I review short fiction for venues such as Locus magazine and Strange Horizons, and I keep an eye out for up-and-coming younger writers who may enjoy ICFA and perhaps make valuable contributions to our community.  I’m looking forward to helping the creative writing side of the ICFA house grow and remain a vital part of our unique mix.

Candidates for Public Information Officer

  • Concetta Bommarito
  • Gerry Canavan
  • Stacie Hanes

Role: This officer edits and distributes promotional materials and forms publicity liaisons with other organizations where appropriate. The Public Information Coordinator maintains and regularly updates the website and weblog, creates and distributes information from the Board such as the Call for Papers and election material, and contributes photos and promotional copy to the IAFA website. The Public Information Coordinator takes Executive Board minutes, disseminates them, archives them, and makes them available for archival use. The Public Information Coordinator is the recorder of motions and amendments at official meetings. The Public Information Coordinator is elected by majority vote of the membership of the IAFA.

Concetta Bommarito

ICFA has been an important part of my scholarly and personal life since I first started attending in 2006. I have had invaluable feedback on my projects from the wonderful array of scholars and artists that attend and have had the privilege of meeting the most innovative and interesting people, many of which have become my dearest friends.

ICFA has been an amazing resource while I work on my PhD, and I want to give back to the conference as best I can. I have volunteered my time to registration and the bookroom when I am not greeting newcomers by the pool (you probably know me as that woman by the pool with the fedora and a smile on her face).

As Public Information Officer, I would be able to use my talents more effectively in contributing to the conference. I have strong social networking skills and experience setting up social media components for organizations. I would love to make the Facebook page more active and collaborative by introducing more discussions relevant to our members. I would also love to create a space where various members can submit photos, research, and collaboration ideas. I would also love to have stronger cross-promotional relations with other conferences including the various conferences hosted by the various divisions of the Popular Culture Association of America. Lastly, as a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida, I would like to extend a formal invitation to the scholars at this nearby institution and begin a working relationship.

Gerry Canavan

I’m an assistant professor of English at Marquette University in Milwaukee, currently working on one book about science fiction and totality and another about the work of Octavia Butler. I’m also the co-editor of the forthcoming Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction (with Kim Stanley Robinson) and The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction (with Eric Carl Link). Recent pieces from me have appeared in Extrapolation, Science Fiction Film and Television, Science Fiction Studies, and LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory.

In my spare time I’m an avid blogger and prolific Twitterer, and have previously served as web editor for Polygraph, the American Studies Association, the Institute for Critical Theory, and the Duke University Program in Literature. If selected for the post I’d like to spend my term as Public Information Officer building our organization’s online profile a bit, particularly on social media. Both Twitter and Facebook offer fresh opportunities for shared scholarship and networking that would have been unthinkable even five years ago; I hope to give IAFA a bigger presence on both sites both to amplify the signal from our annual meeting and so we have opportunities to continue our conversations after we all leave Orlando.

Stacie Hanes

I am familiar with the requirements of the position, and as a regular attendee and presenter at ICFA for the past eight years, I feel I also have a clear understanding of the organization, its history, and its goals.

I am also familiar with the board and its procedures.  I served on the IAFA executive board as Registrar for three years, and served for one year as a Division Head in the Visual and Performing Arts Division.

In terms of public information experience, I have written for both college and community newspapers, as well as writing press releases for Lakeland Community College, where I also served as news editor for the school newspaper and worked in the college’s Office of Public Relations.

Within the field of science fiction, fantasy and horror scholarship, I have published a number of book reviews in professional and scholarly venues, and have developed a number of professional contacts among writers, editors, and scholars, which I believe could be useful to a Public Information Officer.

I enjoyed my previous term working with colleagues on the board, and would look forward to helping to advance the organization in this new and quite different capacity.

I wanted to wish you all a merry x-mas and a happy new year 2013. And in order to have a full and fantastic 2013, you should note down the 4th GFF conference taking place in Giessen, Germany in September. It is well worth the travel, so take a look … we have some pretty amazing keynotes lined-up as well, filled with some of our best and brightest from SFRA and IAFA, so do come … more info to follow.

Call for Papers
Writing Worlds

Models of World and Space in the Fantastic Fourth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung e.V.[Association forResearch in the Fantastic] at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen 26th-29th of September, 2013

Writing Worlds and Writing Worlds – one of the main characteristics of the Fantastic is its ability to create multiple possible worlds in its divers medial expressions such as literature, film, games or the visual arts. In these worlds, the representation of space serves as much as genre indicator as does the set of characters. The fourth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung e.V. [Association for Research in the Fantastic] will be focused on world/space constructions and their relevance for the Fantastic. This implicates dealing with the whole spectrum of theory and analysis of fantastic world models and the relation and semantics of fantastic spaces.

Beside genre definitions like Tzvetan Todorov’s ‘uncertainty’, Roger Caillois’ ‘infraction of natural laws’ or Uwe Durst’s ‘conflicting textual systems of reality’, it seems that fantastic world constructions are likewise suitable to categorize the steadily growing and developing amount of fantastic texts: Medieval worlds, alien planets with their own natural laws or fantastic spaces hidden underneath, behind or within the present show in how many ways the Fantastic may conceptualize ‘space’ and ‘world’ and how difficult it is to make global statements about ‘the Fantastic’ as such. In imitation of Nietzsche, one might ask in view of the ‘Possible-Worlds Theory’, ‘So many worlds, and how many new ones are still possible!’

Apart from the representations of fictional worlds as a potential basis for genre definitions, there will be room to discuss the cultural implications of space which, in the Fantastic, is often linked to the topos of the hero’s journey. Beside Niels Werber’s geopolitical approach and Yuri Lotman’s considerations of the border as topological cultural model, the Fantastic supplies literary research with a testing ground for terms like globalization, transnationality, or multiculturalism.

In addition, some fantastic world constructions are characterized by their specific references to reality and have a considerable potential for social criticism. Especially by using the semantics of world and space, Utopias and Dystopias may initiate or contribute to discussions about current issues. Even gender studies cannot ignore the impact of gendered spaces in the Fantastic for the construction of gender roles. Another aspect of the conference might be the changing relationship between the underworld and the world above, when the dead or the undead attend ordinary high schools, work in ordinary jobs and are to be met at the local pub in their spare time. Thus, the question remains open whether death still has or even needs a space beyond a ‘final frontier’ that is reserved especially for this taboo topic.

The approaches proposed here are only a fraction of the questions that may be discussed at the conference, or even starting points for new theories – again imitating Nietzsche, ‘And how many new questions are still possible!” Additionally, there will be the possibilty to discuss other topics of the fantastic in an open track.

The GfF offers two travel grants of 250€ each for postgraduate or undergraduate students who hand in an outstanding abstract and are not entitled to funding from any other source. If you would like to apply for such a grant, please notify us in your biographical information.

If we have raised your interest, please feel welcome to send us a 350-words abstract of your projected 20-minute paper in German or English, including your contact details and some short biographical information via E-Mail ( by December 31st, 2012.

Organization of the conference:
Annette Simonis, Laura Muth, Pascal Klenke, Klaudia Seibel, in cooperation with the Section 10 – Phantastische Welten of the Gießener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften and the Phantastische Bibliothek Wetzlar.

Pascal Klenke, Laura Muth, Klaudia Seibel Speakers of Sektion 10 – Phantastische Welten Gießener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften Alter Steinbacher Weg 38, D-35394 Gießen

In response to a number of requests, and taking into consideration this busy time of year, the Popular Culture Association of Canada will be accepting proposals for our third annual conference into the New Year. The revised and final deadline for submissions is January 11, 2013.