The 2011-2012 Executive Committee of the Science Fiction Research Association met in Kent, Ohio this past weekend to discuss the pressing issues of the organization including those raised during the business meeting at the Lublin conference.
President Ritch Calvin will report on the successful face-to-face meeting in the next issue of the SFRA Review.
Pictured above: the SFRA Executive Committee at Kent State University, from left to right, Vice President Jason W. Ellis, Secretary Susan George, President Ritch Calvin, Immediate Past President Lisa Yaszek, Treasurer Patrick B. Sharp.
Yesterday, I launched the Science Fiction Research Association’s (SFRA) Google+ page, which you can find here. Like the organization’s Facebook Page and Twitter Feed, the SFRA Google+ page is another way that we can circulate information about the organization and our annual conference (in Detroit in 2012) while also facilitating engaged discussions about research and teaching science fiction and fantasy across all media.
The Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) is the oldest professional organization devoted to the study and teaching of science fiction and fantasy across all media, including print, film, television, and video games.
Besides joining the organization and receiving access to publications and journals, including SFRA Review, Extrapolation, and Science Fiction Studies, as well as qualifying for participation in the the annual conference (the next will be in Detroit, more info here), you can take part in the discussion through the SFRA’s online presence dispersed around the Internet. Here are four ways to learn more and stay in touch:
First, you can connect to the SFRA at the organization’s official website here.
Second, you can join the lively SFRA Email List conversation by following the instructions here.
Third, you can ‘like’ the SFRA’s Facebook page here.
Fourth, you can follow the SFRA’s Twitter feed (@sfranews) here.
I look forward to talking with you in cyberspace!
The terrific periodical Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field recently published my write-up of the 2011 Science Fiction Research Association Conference in Poland in the September 2011 issue. It is on newsstands now. It is also available for sale in various digital formats here.
Don’t forget: the next SFRA Conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan on June 28-July 1, 2012. Find out more about the call for papers, the venue, and registration on the official website here. See you there!
I registered for the 2012 SFRA Conference in Detroit last night. You have only two more days to register and pay at the discounted rate of $140 for the conference and $25 for the awards banquet. Details and the link to the official conference website are below.
Welcome to the website for the 43rd annual conference of the Science Fiction Research Association. Following is a list of key dates: Early Registration: July 2011 -August 31st, 2011 $140.00: Extended until September 15th, 2011!Regular Registration: September 1st, 2011-June 7th, 2012 $160.00Late Registration: June 7th-June 27th, 2012 $180.00Student Registration: July 2011-June 27th, 2012 140.00 Awards Banquet $25.00: This price will go up to $30.00 after September 15thAbstracts for the conference will be accepted through April 23rd, 2012 If there are any questions, please contact Steve Berman at sdberman1121 [at] gmail.com or Deborah Randolph at DARANDOL [at] oaklandcc.edu
via SFRA 2012 Conference in Detroit MI | June 28-July 1, 2012.
On Sunday, the Science Fiction Research Association was represented by Lisa Yaszek, Doug Davis, Jason Embry, and myself at the 11:30am Dragon*Con panel in Atlanta, Georgia titled: “What Does Science Fiction Mean? A Conversation with the SFRA.” SFRA Publicity Director R. Nicole Smith coordinated with the Dragon*Con Sci-Fi & Fantasy Literature Track planners to make the panel a reality.
The panel was attended by approximately 20 Dragon*Con members, and the ensuing conversation between the panel and the audience was electric. We received comments from long-time science fiction fans who had taken classes in the 1970s, and we received questions from educators and creative writing teachers about the use of science fiction in the academy. As part of the conversation, we also shared the history of the SFRA and our own unique histories as SF scholars with the audience.
The session was a great success, because we had a delightful conversation that ran over our allotted time. It was a fulfilling experience to connect with Dragon*Con SF and fantasy fans, because they had compelling questions and unique experiences to share with us. The panel was also a success on another level, because it increased the visibility of our organization and the work of its members in an audience that should be a continuing part of our discourse in the SFRA.
Many thanks to the audience members who attended the panel!
After a successful and well attended SFRA panel at Dragon*Con 2011 this morning, I said my goodbyes to R. Nicole Smith, Jason Embry, Lisa Yaszek, Doug Davis, and Case.
Now I am in the central atrium at the Atlanta Airport sitting under a dinosaur, a Yangchuanosaurus. I think he wants my coffee. He looks like he could use a pick-me-up.
Y dropped me off at CLE and I accepted the TSA’s mandated security theater and body scan. My odds for future cancer potentially ticked up thanks to a lack of transparency. John W. Campbell Jr wrote about a similar problem with transparency related to the development of the atomic bomb. He wrote that it was ludicrous of the government to restrict free speech and education at the beginning of the Cold War. Open discussion, he argued, will yield results while no discuss simply impairs our ability to develop plans, countermeasures, and new technologies. Burying our heads in the sand of authority and not openly discussing how to effectively oppose terrorism without trampling privacy and personal health will continue to lead us down a dark path.
Boarding for Atlanta begins soon.
Last year, I contributed an essay titled, “Revealing Critical Theory’s Real-Life Potential to Our Students, the Digital Nomads,” to Practicing Science Fiction: Critical Essays on Writing, Reading and Teaching the Genre edited by Karen Hellekson, Craig B. Jacobsen, Patrick B. Sharp, and Lisa Yaszek.
Bill Dynes contributed a nice review of the book and mentioned my essay in his review in Extrapolation 52:2 (Summer 2011). He writes, “This slim volume will be of substantial value to teachers and scholars” (253). Then, in describing the first part, “Teaching with Science Fiction,” Dynes observes that, “Interestingly, these essays foreground teaching with sf rather than teaching the genre itself. Jason Ellis uses Mike Resnick’s novel Ivory: A Legend of Past and Future (1998) to teach the postcolonial critical theories of writers such as Edward Said, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze” (253). This is the power of science fiction that others including John W. Campbell, Jr. realize: it can accomplish many tasks including working through ideas of the real world that are themselves not necessarily science fictional. This is not to say that postcolonialism cannot be read as science fictional, but in the case of my essay, I see the use of science fiction as a tool to teach students about critical theory and its application to their lives in the real world.
I am glad to see Practicing Science Fiction continue to get some attention in the field. Click on the link above to visit the publisher’s website for additional information and for ordering.
Actually, the Science Fiction Research Association isn’t really “invading” Dragon*Con with ray guns drawn, but we will host a panel titled, “What does Science Fiction Mean: A Conversation with the SFRA” on Sunday morning in the Hyatt’s Fairlie room at 11:30am. Thanks to the SFRA’s Publicity Director R. Nicole Smith, several SFRA EC members (Lisa Yaszek and myself) and SFRA Review editors (Doug Davis and Jason Embry) will hold a panel to let convention goers know a little bit about what we do in the SFRA. We will also invite attendees to join the SFRA and participate in the 43rd annual conference in Detroit next year. If you are attending Dragon*Con, stop by the panel and join the conversation. If you aren’t going to Dragon*Con but are in the Atlanta area and what to talk shop, drop me a line [dynamicsubspace now-what-goes-here gmailcom]–I will be in town from Friday until Sunday.