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Monthly Archives: June 2022

Dear IAFA Members,

As you know, the IAFA Executive Board has been gathering information in preparation for making the decision as to the future of the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. In particular, we wanted to address concerns that had been vocalized to a number of us that our continued presence in Florida–a state whose government is actively passing laws and enacting policies that are anathematic to the values that an academic organization like ours holds to–was problematic at best.

We began the process by researching locations that might be amenable to us. For more information on this process, please review the FAQ found on our website:

What we discovered is that there are limited options due to our size and shape; rather than repeat the specifics here, we refer you to the email we sent out prior to the town hall meetings on May 24, 2022.

As part of this information seeking, we held three town hall meetings with our membership, at various days and times, encouraging input and ideas. We provided a Google document whereby people could additionally comment, including anonymously if they so chose. As a result of these conversations, we provided a survey, asking people for their input.

The overwhelming response to these inquiries has been that people prefer to continue to meet at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside, and would like to have IAFA take steps to make our presence have greater meaning to the Florida academic community at large in a more tangible way.

This past week, the Executive Board voted to continue our relationship with the Marriott through 2026. We also decided to create a liaison position that will spearhead a task force to develop ideas and methods by which we may be an ally in Florida to all those who oppose the state’s current political drift and systemic injustice. To give you a sampling of some of the things we discussed: grants or brain trust support for creating campus organizations, guest lectures and author readings on campuses, and assistance and participation with organization of special campus events.

We are also actively seeking ways that we can support or co-sponsor a conference on the West Coast; in fact LA’s EagleCon has already reached out to us seeking this very thing. This is in recognition not only of how much our organization would benefit from a West Coast presence but also as part of a process of expanding the overall visibility and availability of IAFA that we are beginning next month with our co-sponsoring of the conference that the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is holding.

Thank you for your continued support of IAFA. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.

Pawel Frelik, President, IAFA ( & Jeri Zulli, Conference Director, IAFA

On behalf of the IAFA Board



Streamed at: 

July 2

Tosi Abegbija–“Internet of Things and Beyond”

Tosi is an amazing Prof. of electrical engineering at the Univ. of Arizona. He is back by popular demand. Plot material for SF is found repeatedly in what Tosi brings to our meetings.

Aug. 6 

Ben Kuipers–
Ben is a Prof. of Electrical Engineering at Univ. of Michigan. A longtime reader of SF. He investigates robotic knowledge, including knowledge of space, dynamical change, objects, and actions. He is currently investigating ethics as a foundational domain of knowledge for robots and other AIs that may act as members of human society.

Sep. 3

No meeting—ChiCon in session World Con in Chicago, IL

Oct. 1

David Gunkel and Ben Kuipers—“Can and Should ‘Bots have personhood, rights, and responsibilities?”
Dr. Gunkel is an Asst. Prof. Media Studies, M. Illinois Univ., so he comes to this through the lens of legal personhood, philosophical issues, and the now vexing questions that autonomous Internet of Things poses.

Nov. 5

Shane Larsen—“Astrobiology and You” (working title)
Teaches Astronomy at Northwestern University

Dec. 3

Urvashi Kuhad—“Four Indian Women SF Writers” 

She teaches in English Dept. of Univ. of Delhi.


Jan.  7

Mike Jansen—Dutch SF writer. Topic TBA. 


Feb. 4

Jack Dann—“On Working in Cultural Intersections and Markets” 

Much-awarded SF writer, Jack Dann works and lives in Australia, these days.


Mar. 4th

Christina Becher—“Traveling Plants in German SF Literature”

Christina is in German Lit Studies and is finishing her Ph.D. at Cologne Univ.


April 1



May 6

Sandi Petroshius—“Virtual Views of the RBEM” by Sandi, Dir. of the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum in Waukegan, IL. Not a “Great Man” Museum but something to help us learn how Ray drew upon his creative and imaginative potential.

This content comes from Dr. Gloria Lee McMillan ( of the Tucson Hard-Science SF Group:

IAFA Online Conference
October 7-9, 2022
“The Global Fantastic”

Deadline extended to July 31, 11:59 PM, EDT.

For a very long time, the fantastic and its spectrum of genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, old and new weird, and others—has been perceived as very white and very English and French. The privileged circulation of texts by authors rooted in these two languages has been largely responsible for this condition, but the bias was also perpetuated by the international scholarship on these genres. Moreover, while the attention to Western authors and texts is definitely part of the problem, it can be argued that the very ways in which the conceptions of genres were originally formulated also contributed to the predominance of the Anglo-American (and, in some cases, Francophone) bias.

Things have changed, and, in 2022, attention has turned to the global fantastic that extends beyond a handful of former colonial centers. Several interrelated—albeit not necessarily mutually reinforcing—factors have been responsible for the new fantastic geography. First, the global spread of neoliberal capitalism, of which culture industries are an integral part, has seeded elements of Western imaginaries and transplanted models of production around the globe but also carved out opportunities for interaction with many local artists and creators. Second, the arrival and spread of digital technologies has dramatically expanded and democratized production and distribution of cultural texts, among which the broadly understood fantastic accounts for a sizable share. Most importantly, a range of political and cultural transformations going beyond storytelling has fostered a slow but steady realization that the category of the fantastic in general, and the genres of science fiction and fantasy in particular, can mean very different things in different places, and that a range of fantastic traditions has long flourished in many nations and regions around the world. This new lens reconfigures an understanding of not just the contemporary cultural landscape but allows for a discovery and recuperation of past traditions of the fantastic in the countries beyond the Anglo-French axis.

It is thus very apt that our inaugural October online conference, open to both regular ICFA attendees and those who cannot, for any reason, come to in-person events, should focus on the global fantastic to bring these traditions to the forefront.

The Guest of Honor is Tananarive Due, the winner of the American Book Award for The Living Blood (2001), the author of a dozen other speculative and mystery novels, and a film historian with expertise in Black horror. The Guest Scholar is Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay (University of Oslo), an internationally recognized scholar of global fantastic and the leader of the prestigious European Research Council grant “CoFutures: Pathways to Possible Presents.”

We invite paper proposals responding to, but not limited to, the following thematic areas and topics:

● Afrofuturism
● Africanfuturism
● Indigenous Futurisms
● non-Anglophone fantastic of the Global North
● local varieties of Western genres
● the fantastic produced in languages other than English
● slipstreams and interstitial genres
● non-Western genres of the fantastic
● postcolonial fantastic imaginaries
● non-Western media production in the fantastic: film, short film, television, video games
● theories of the fantastic beyond the Global North

Proposals not related to the conference theme are also welcome.

To submit a proposal, see The submission portal will remain open until the deadline. Deadline extended to July 31, 11:59 PM, EDT.

For a list of the IAFA Divisions and Division Heads, see

For more information, visit our website

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