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Monthly Archives: February 2014

You may now view the Program of the 35th ICFA in .pdf form.

Editors Donna White and Anita Tarr are seeking submissions for a volume of essays on children’s and young adult literature entitled Finding Our Humanity in a Post-Human World.

We use the term humanity to refer to what we feel is a necessary part of being human: compassion, kindness, concern for fellow humans. Humanity incorporates the full range of physical, mental, and emotional capacities our species has developed primarily through natural means. Post-human is an emerging concept, with no settled-upon definition; while we are using post-human generally to mean both “beyond” and “after” human, we are open to other definitions as well. Post-human can refer to extreme changes in the range of the above-mentioned capacities due to technological, medical, or evolutionary enhancements or accidents as well as to the postulated existence of human-like beings that have different capacities or are created by means perceived as unnatural (e.g. Frankenstein’s creature or clones).

Our focus is on children’s and YA print literature but extends to other media with this same targeted audience (computer games, graphic novels, etc.). We are interested in essays analyzing post-apocalyptic scenarios; cyborg Cinderellas; genetic engineering; cloning; xenomorphic aliens; body issues and paranoia; the paranormal; and beast/human hybrids. However, we are certainly open to other interpretations of our theme. We are not looking for religious tracts, but we are not excluding discussions of spiritual themes.

Some basic questions include the following:

·         What do we mean by post-human? If one is beyond-human, or after-human, is one no longer human? What texts have you seen that proffer this concept?

·         Humans are already changing with technical enhancement, presumably even more so in the future. Are humans evolving even without technical enhancement, as with Lyra in The Golden Compass series (or even in The Time-Traveler’s Wife)?

·         Is there an ethical responsibility for children’s/YA authors to guide their readers to humanitarian ideas and actions? Is such a responsibility too constraining, too self-censoring, too artificial?

·         Can there be a compromise between the post-human advances that threaten all of humankind and the benefits of post-human alterations?

·         Children’s/YA literature has often promoted moral messages by having a character resist fascist regimes, as in The Book Thief. Do post-humans pose an equal threat to such human values as compassion?

·         Are there general gender differences regarding visions of post-human individuals that are evident in children’s/YA media?

·         Consider Orson Scott Card’s female-voiced Jane, a computer brain, that abandons its power grid in order to be embodied (Pygmalian-like) as a real human female; in the Aliens film series, the appellation of the spaceship’s computer as “Mother”; or the recurring depiction of aliens in science fiction as all-consuming Queen Bees.

·         Obviously, graphic novels, from Superman onward, contain ready images of post-human entities. How might the interplay between pictures and words affect readers regarding their impressions of post-humans?

·         Where is the border between human and post-human?

·         Several philosophers have suggested that digital natives are already post-human—that computers, smart phones, and other gadgets have rewired young people’s brains beyond the understanding of older generations. How does children’s/YA literature respond to that suggestion?

·         Television offers several sympathetic characters who are “functioning sociopaths” (PBS’s Sherlock Holmes) and homicidal psychopaths (Dexter).  Does children’s/YA literature offer similar characters?  Do they (like Star Trek’s Data) feel they should become more human by engaging feelings and becoming socially adept?

Please send abstracts (approximately 500 words) to Donna White at by May 30, 2014.

Dear all,

anyone and everyone who hasn’t yet submitted a paper/panel/roundtable proposal has less than 48 hours to do so! All the instructions are online at . Do remember that, unlike in previous years, when conference directors exercised a degree of leniency with deadlines, Rebecca, Mike, and Victor won’t be able to do so now. Since we’re partnering with WisCon, who are helping us enormously with the logistics, we also depend on their timelines and deadlines, which are much stricter.

So don’t wait and send your abstract now! Everyone registering for the conference has access to WisCon’s programming. And we have great guest scholars and writers. And it’s a great deal – only 50 USD conference fee for both events.



SFRA 2014/Wiscon 38 Joint Conference

Feminism, Fans, and the Future: Traveling the Shifting Worlds of Writers, Readers, Gender, and Race in Science Fiction


Conference Co- Chairs: Michael Levy, Rebecca J. Holden, Victor Raymond

Dates: May 22-25, 2014

Venue: Inn on the Park<>, Madison, WI


Hello, everyone!

Your dedicated Registrar, Valorie Ebert, would like for anyone who wishes to volunteer at this year’s conference to follow the link in this email and fill out the survey.

Thank you for your participation.

Deadline for Applications: Friday, February 28, 2014

No work of literature has done more to shape the way humans imagine science and its consequences than _Frankenstein_, Mary Shelley’s enduring tale of creation and responsibility. In _Frankenstein_, Shelley established the creature and creator tropes that continue to resonate with contemporary audiences and influence the way we confront emerging technologies, conceptualize scientific research, imagine the motivations and ethical struggles of scientists and weigh the benefits of research with its unforeseen pitfalls.

The Frankenstein Bicentennial Project – a global, interdisciplinary network of people and institutions headquartered at Arizona State University – will celebrate the bicentennial of the writing and publication of Frankenstein from 2016-2018 with exhibits, performances, scientific demonstrations, writing contests, film screenings, installations, public conversations and educational experiences that use the Frankenstein myth as a touchstone for science education, ethics and artistry.

From April 28-30, 2014, ASU will host a National Science Foundation-funded workshop to build a community of scholars across a wide variety of fields to collaborate on the project, to begin designing and planning public programs, intellectual endeavors and tangible outcomes like journal issues, books or performances as part of the Bicentennial celebration. We will accept at least 5 applicants to participate in the workshop, along with approximately sixty ASU faculty and invited guests. We will give preference to early-career researchers in relevant fields, but senior scholars should not be dissuaded from applying. All allowable, workshop-related travel expenses (e.g., economy round-trip airfare, 2-3 nights at the workshop hotel, transfers and meals).

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, we invite you to submit an application at You will be asked to submit a 1-2 page CV and a cover letter discussing your interest in Frankenstein and what you could contribute to the workshop. You will also be asked to select which of our eight working groups you are most interested in:·

– Exhibits and Installations:Frankenstein and the Creation of Life·

– Frankenstein: A Critical Edition for Scientists and Engineers·

– “It’s Alive!” Frankenstein on Film·

– Monsters on Stage: Frankenstein in Theater and Performance·

– “MOOCenstein” – Frankenstein Goes Global·

– Engineering Life: Distributed Demonstrations·

– Reinventing the Dare: Frankenstein, Science Fiction and the Culture of Science·

– Bringing Nonfiction to Life: Frankenstein and Science Writing

Hello Graduate Students,

I’m writing to let you all know that we still have FIVE open spots in the writing workshop with Sherryl Vint! If you’ve been putting off signing up, or thinking you missed your chance, please contact me at with answers to the following questions.

Thanks, and see you all in March!

Liz Lundberg

IAFA Student Caucus Co-Representative


1) What is your name?

2) Which email address should we use to contact you?

3) What is your institutional affiliation, and who is your adviser?

4) At what stage are you in your graduate program?

5) What is your dissertation/thesis topic? (1-2 sentences)

6) What are some issues or problems in your writing you’d like to address? (1-2 sentences)

Keynote: Professor Rob Latham (UC, Riverside): Senior Editor, Science Fiction Studies; editorial board member, The Journal of Science Fiction Film and Television and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.

University of East Anglia 31 May—1 June, 2014

Conference Organisers: Dr Mark P. Williams | Dr Jacob Huntley | Dr Matthew Taunton



In May 1964 New Worlds #142 hits the newsstands. It is the first edition edited by Michael Moorcock and ushers in a creative, and much debated, reinterpretation of the aesthetics of Science Fiction. The “New Wave” has begun. This period of aesthetic innovation connected a great many of the pressing concerns of the day, from the apocalyptic threat of the Cold War to the potential of the Space Age, but it also preceded the concerns of subsequent generations including postmodernism, questions of identity and subjectivity, and the nature of history.

Fifty years after that landmark issue the ripples continue to be felt, washing through various modes of fantastic literature from slipstream to the New Weird, from cyberpunk to steampunk.

As a way of celebrating and acknowledging the influence of Moorcock’s tenure as editor of New Worlds starting with that seminal May/June issue, the University of East Anglia will be hosting a conference, The Science Fiction New Wave at Fifty over the weekend of 31st May – 1st June 2014.


Professor Rob Latham is a senior editor of Science Fiction Studies and member of the editorial boards of The Journal of Science Fiction Film and Television and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.  He is currently completing a book on New Wave Science Fiction focusing on its connections to counterculture movements and debates of the 1960s and ’70s.


Submissions Extended

Submissions by Monday 10th March 2014


Papers are invited on any aspect of “New Wave” Science Fiction related to New Worlds, from key writers such as J G Ballard, Hilary Baily and M. John Harrison, to Moorcock himself, or comparisons between the British and American versions of “New Wave” and their relationships with Science Fiction as a mode.  We also welcome panel proposals of up to four papers with a unifying theme.


This conference emphasises the international and culturally dialogic qualities of “New Wave” SF and is particularly interested in papers exploring how the themes and concepts which drive the ‘movement’ have been transformed in the intervening decades, and how they manifest in contemporary fiction today.


Topics for discussion might include but are not limited to:

·       Inner Space versus Outer Space

·       The “New Wave” and the “New Weird”

·       New Worlds as inspiration for Steampunk and/or Cyberpunk

·       Time Travel and Subjectivity

·       Synthesis of the avant-garde and populism in the “New Wave”

·       Apocalypse and ecological catastrophe

·       “New Wave” and transgression

Writers for discussion might include

Hilary Bailey

J.G. Ballard

Samuel R. Delany

M. John Harrison

Michael Moorcock

Pamela Zoline

Alongside other writers and artists connected with or inspired by the “New Wave”



Please send abstracts of up to 500 words, together with author’s bio of 50 words.


Full panel proposals should either have individual paper abstracts of 250 words with a brief statement of 150 words to describe the panel, or be one abstract of around 750 words.  These should be accompanied by a 50 word biographical statement for each panellist.



Submissions to: Dr Mark P. Williams (; Dr Jacob Huntley (; Dr Matthew Taunton (



Conference registration will be live from Monday 17th March 2014 onwards (see below).

further Information

Further information regarding registration opening and closing dates will be posted to the UEA Events page —

Click here or copy and paste the URL from below:







Dr Mark P. Williams |


Dr Jacob Huntley |


Dr Matthew Taunton |