SFRA 2010, Saturday, SF and Colonialism Panel

My last official duty of SFRA 2010 was to moderate the SF and Colonialism panel. Gerry Canavan couldn’t make it to the conference, so the panel was made up of by friend Jason Embry (pictured above in center) and first time SFRAer Joshua Ramsey (pictured above on right). With fewer panelists and hearing the panelists talk about having to cut a lot of material, I told them to take a little longer with each of their papers. I made sure to prompt the audience about this as well so no one would send thought daggers or tap watches for long presentations.

Jason Embry presented another Dan Simmons related essay–a part of a larger project that he is developing on Simmons’ oeuvre–titled “Going Native: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones in Dam Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos.” His presentation was an interesting analysis of the Ousters as a welcoming group of humanity who have progressed through change and adaptation (not having read Simmons, they sound like the Lobsters of Bruce Sterling’s Shaper/Mechanist stories).

Joshua Ramsey, part of the large contingent from University of Texas, Pan American, presented the paper titled, “They Were Men: H. P. Lovecraft on the Frontier of Slave Race Narratives.” He presented an opposing view to what Jason talked about in Simmon’s novels. Instead of technology leading to progress and development of humanity, Ramsey argued that in Lovecraft and Caprica that technological advancement leads to decadence and decline.

Following the presentation, there was a delightful discussion of the presentations. Andrew Hageman, Ritch Calvin, and others contributed to the discussion.

With the panel successfully moderated, there was time enough for rest before going to the awards banquet.

Published by

Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.