CRSF is about bringing together the most cu

CRSF is a postgraduate conference designed to promote the research of speculative fictions including, but not limited to, science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Our aim is to showcase some of the latest developments in this dynamic and evolving field, by providing a platform for the presentation of current research by postgraduates. The conference will also encourage the discussion of this research and the construction of crucial networks with fellow researchers.

Watch this space for upcoming CRSF news.

Monday, 4 July 2016

CRSF 2016 Post-conference Report

The sixth annual Current Research in Speculative Fiction [CRSF] conference was held last week on Monday 27th June and was a great success.

As usual the papers delivered were of a high quality and a diverse range of topics from D&D bestiaries to feminist utopia, ecological disaster to Harry Potter, medieval English horror to Japanese dystopian YA and far more besides. As usual huge thanks go to those who presented a paper: thank you for the enthusiasm with which you approached the task and for the hard work you did preparing for the conference, a conference - no matter how the organising goes - is nothing without its delegates.

If I were to pick a single weakness of the conference it would be my failure to secure a photographer with a steady hand, or a decent camera... Next year I'm bringing a tripod. Thanks to those delegates who generously suggested it was more SF-nal this way like we're beaming up, or just undergoing a time shift.

Our 2016 conference photo. Apologies for the blurriness





















One thing that is evident from this photo is the quantity of attendees. CRSF 2016 represents a record year for number of delegates, with non-presenting delegates outnumbering presenters for the first time. This was in no small part thanks to the excellent Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) conference also held in Liverpool on the 28th-30th June, a number of whose delegates came along to see CRSF in action. There were, however, a number of non-presenting delegates, including former presenters from previous years, who made the trip to Liverpool especially to see CRSF, I cannot think of a better endorsement for the atmosphere and organisation of the conference than for those who have been before to want to come back, even if they're no longer eligible to present.

In total we had fifty-six attendees and thirty papers presented, over three parallel streams, by delegates from institutions throughout the UK, as well as Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Spain, Russia, Israel, Canada, and the United States, among others.

Thank you to all who attended. Additional thanks to all those who engaged with the conference on social media. I'm a firm believer in the Twitter back channel for conferences, and CRSF performed ably in this regard too. If you're not on Twitter and you want to (re)discover the tweet-by-tweet coverage of the conference it's been conveniently archived on Storify here for you.

Thanks also to our wonderful keynote speakers: Dr. Caroline Edwards (Birkbeck University of London) and Dr. Pat Wheeler (University of Hertfordshire) who not only gave fascinating and insightful keynote lectures, but also attended numerous panels, asking insightful and constructive questions throughout, and offering many a kind and supportive word for delegates in the breaks and more informal moments of the conference. Caroline's paper opened the conference and was entitled '"But there is still such beauty": Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Eco-Eschatological Time in the 21st-Century', it took us through such post-apocalyptic novels as Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and Maggie Gee's The Flood, highlighting the pastoral beauty often found in these texts and the implications of that for our vision of the apocalypse and the future (if any) of humanity's role on the Earth. Pat's keynote was entitled '"She can't love you, she's just a machine': Metal-fevered Boys and their Passion for New Eves', which challenged how we should read gynoids in the twenty-first century: as either challenge or constriction to women's agency.

Thanks as ever to the University of Liverpool staff who provided support both in the build up to, and during, the conference: the Rendall Building staff, and Filomena Saltao, the Administrator of the School of the Arts, and Siobhan Quinn. Thanks also to Andy Sawyer, academic librarian for the Science Fiction Foundation collection at the University of Liverpool's Sydney Jones Library, for once again arranging for all delegates to receive free copies of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. Thanks also to the staff at Il Forno, our traditional restaurant of choice, who once again dealt with our large numbers with aplomb.

As always we welcome your feedback on CRSF 2016, all comments are useful and appreciated. Please leave a comment on this post, or e-mail them to us at crsf.team@gmail.com.

CRSF will return in 2017. Watch this space.

Glyn Morgan,
Molly Cobb,
Leimar Garcia-Siino,
Chris Pak

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

2016 Conference Schedule

CRSF 2016 is being held at the University of Liverpool on Monday 27th June, the planned schedule is as follows:

9:00-9:30: Registration and Refreshments

9:30-10:30: Keynote Lecture #1: Dr Caroline Edwards,
"But there is still such beauty”: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Eco-Eschatological Time in the 21st-Century

10:30 -12:00: First Round of Panels
1.1: Press START to Play
- Andrew Ferguson - Clipping Out of Bounds: Reading House of Leaves Through Portal
- Britanny Kuhn - Awaiting Title
- Ivaylo Shmilev - Oppression, Warfare and Transcultural Memory in the Complex Post- Apocalyptic Environments of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Game Series

1.2: Horrific Narratives
- Travis Gasque - The New Cosmic Horror: A Genre Molded by Tabletop Roleplaying Games and Postmodern Horror
- Matthew McCall - “My manez mynde to maddyng malte”: Tracing Horror in the Middle English Pearl
- Selena Middleton - Climate Collapse and the Uncontained Body in James Tiptree Jr.’s A Momentary Taste of Being

1.3: You’re Only Young Once
- Lan Ma - Censorship and Resistance: Information Control in Japanese Dystopian Young Adult Fiction in the 21st Century
- Alison Baker - Protocols for the education of young witches and wizards
- Arunima Dey - The Grotesque in the Harry Potter Series

12:00 -13:00: Second Round of Panels
2.1: Beasts and Bestiaries
- Rob O’Connor - ‘The History of All Hitherto-Existing Societies is the History of Monsters:’ The Bestiary and the Depiction of Monsters as Social Commentary
- Sandra Mänty - Representation and function of animals in the world of Harry Potter

2.2: The Greater Good
- Maxine Gee - “If something stinks put a lid on it, don’t see it”: Self-censorship and the brave new world of Psycho Pass
- Jonathan Ferguson - Crimes Against The Greater Good are Victimless Crimes?

2.3: Character Studies
- Beata Gubacsi - Monstrous Transformations: Becoming posthuman through art in Vandermeer’s Ambergris novels
- Matteo Barbagallo - Do we have a deal? Petyr Baelish, Varys, Rumpelstiltskin and their role as Doppelganger

13:00 -13:45: Lunch Break

13:45 -14:45: Keynote Lecture #2: Dr Patricia Wheeler
"She can’t love you, she’s just a machine": Metal-fevered Boys and their Passion for New Eves

14:45 -16:15: Third Round of Panels
3.1: Revenge of the Film
- Pablo Gómez Muñoz - Greening Apocalypse: Eco-Conscious Disaster in Twenty-First Century Science Fiction Cinema
- Josephine Swarbrick - Monstrous Men and Masculine Monsters: Gender and the Cyborg in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987) and José Padilha’s Robocop (2014)
- David Contreras - Gothic Surrealism in Mexican Cyberpunk Short Film: The Borderlands Strike Back

3.2: Theoretically Speaking
- Jo Lindsay Walton - The Dystopian Glimpse
- Artem Zubov - Science fiction studies and genre theory
- Pascal Lemaire - Fans of history first, fans of S-F more distantly ? Alternate History as a form of History’s fan fiction

3.3: Tell Me a Tale
- Kanta Dihal - Science and Religion in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
- Rina Jean Baroukh - "Your Light Has Come" : Fantasy and Reality in Shimon Adaf’s Sunburnt faces
- Laura-Marie von Czarnowsky - Re-Defining the Bildungsroman: Traumatic Journeys as a Trend in Contemporary Fantasy Fiction

16:15 -16:30: Refreshment Break

16:30 -18:00: Fourth Round of Panels
4.1: Perceptions of the Female Self
- Sonya Dyer - aPOCalypso: Janelle Monae and (Science) Fictional Black Feminisms
- Sarah Lohmann - “Solar Loyalties”: The Utopian Ethics of Posthumanism in Naomi Mitchison’s Memoirs of a Spacewoman
- Mylène Branco - The Construction of the Female Self in L.P. Hartley’s Facial Justice

4.2: Alternate Beings
- Tom Kewin - ‘A Society of Screens’: The State of Digital Surveillance and the Repercussions for the Humanist Subject
- Mattia Petricola - From mesmeric trance to living avatars: Rethinking consciousness and death after Mr Valdemar

4.3: Dystopian Time, Resurgent Space
- Gabrielle Bunn - Future Ruins: The intersection of nature and culture in the post-apocalyptic landscape of J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World (1962)
- Hollie Johnson - Anarchy, Nostalgia, and Resistance: The Role of Nature in We, Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Thomas Connolly - “There was a thing called Heaven”: The end of time in Huxley’s Brave New World

18.00 -19.00: Post-Conference Wine Reception and Official Conference Group Photo

You can download a PDF of the schedule here.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Call for Papers: CRSF 2016

CRSF 2016 
Monday 27th June
With keynotes from: 
Dr Caroline Edwards (Birkbeck, University of London) 
and 
Dr Patricia Wheeler (University of Hertfordshire) 

Returning for its sixth consecutive year, CRSF is a one day postgraduate conference designed to promote the research of speculative fictions, including SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY and HORROR; showcasing some of the latest developments in these dynamic and evolving fields. CRSF attracts an international selection of delegates and provides a platform for postgraduate students to present their current research, encourages discussion with scholars in related subjects and the construction of crucial networks with fellow researchers. The University of Liverpool, a leading centre for the study of speculative fiction and home to the Science Fiction Foundation Collection, will host the conference. CRSF 2016 will run in conjunction with the Science Fiction Research Association’s (SFRA) annual conference held on the 28th-30th June 2016.

We are seeking abstracts relating to speculative fiction, including, but not limited to, papers on the following topics:

•Alternate History •Alternative Culture •Animal Studies •Anime •Apocalypse •Body Horror •Consciousness •Cyber Culture •Drama •Eco-criticism •Fan Culture •Gaming •(Geo)Politics •Genre •Gender •Graphic Novels •The Grotesque •The Heroic Tradition •Liminal Fantasy •Magic •Meta-Franchises •Morality •Monstrosity •Music •Non-Anglo-American SF •Otherness •Pastoral •Poetry •Politics •Post-Colonialism and Empire •Proto-SF •Psychology •Quests •Realism •Sexuality •Slipstream •Spiritualism •Steampunk •Supernatural •Technology •Time •TV and Film •Urban Fantasy •Utopia/Dystopia •(Virtual) Spaces and Environments •Weird Fiction •World Building •Young Adult Fiction.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words for a 20 minute English language paper and a 100 word biography to CRSF.team@gmail.com by Monday 7th March 2016.

For further information email the conference team at CRSF.team@gmail.com or visit our website: www.currentresearchinspeculativefiction.blogspot.com

You can download a PDF version of this call for papers here.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Call for Papers: CRSF 2015

Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2015
Monday 8th June 2015
University of Liverpool

With Keynote Lectures from:
Dr. Andrew M. Butler (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Dr. Sarah Dillon (University of Cambridge)

Returning for its fifth consecutive year, CRSF is a one day postgraduate conference designed to promote the research of speculative fictions, including SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY and HORROR; showcasing some of the latest developments in these dynamic and evolving fields. CRSF attracts an international selection of delegates and provides a platform for postgraduate students to present their current research, encourages discussion with scholars in related subjects and the construction of crucial networks with fellow researchers. The University of Liverpool, a leading centre for the study of speculative fiction and home to the Science Fiction Foundation Collection, will host the conference. We are seeking abstracts relating to speculative fiction, including, but not limited to, papers on the following topics:

•Alternate History •Alternative Culture •Animal Studies •Anime •Apocalypse •Body Horror •Consciousness •Cyber Culture •Drama •Eco-criticism •Fan Culture •Gaming •(Geo)Politics •Genre •Gender •Graphic Novels •The Grotesque •The Heroic Tradition •Liminal Fantasy •Magic •Meta-Franchises •Morality •Monstrosity •Music •Non-Anglo-American SF •Otherness •Pastoral •Poetry •Politics •Post-Colonialism and Empire •Proto-SF •Psychology •Quests •Realism •Sexuality •Slipstream •Spiritualism •Steampunk •Supernatural •Technology •Time •TV and Film •Urban Fantasy •Utopia/Dystopia •(Virtual) Spaces and Environments •Weird Fiction •World Building •Young Adult Fiction.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words for a 20 minute English language paper and a 100 word biography to CRSF.team@gmail.com by Monday 9th March 2015. Queries can be sent to the same address.

A PDF of the CfP can be downloaded from this link. Please share this information widely with all who may be interested. Although CRSF only accepts papers by Postgraduate students and those who have recently completed their Ph.D, we welcome delegates from across the genre spectrum: from fan to professor, via author and undergraduate student.

Join the facebook event here.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Artist Wanted

CALLING ALL ARTISTS: We're looking for some art work to grace our 2015 call for papers. If you'd be interested in submitting something then drop us an email at crsf.team@gmail.com
Our ideal piece would:
  • Look good in black and white
  • Contain the themes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror
  • There are no strict dimensions of size, however it must be able to fit onto the CfP and take up no more than 1/3 of the space on an A4 Piece of paper.
  • It does not need to include any text, nor the CRSF logo.

We have no prizes or royalties to offer, but the chosen piece will receive full credit on the CfP and on our blog, facebook etc... and we're happy to link to any other work they may want to promote. We'll also waive conference fees for the artist as a bonus. The fee waiver is transferable if the artist can't come but wants to pass the entry onto someone else.
Please share this with any artists, professional or otherwise, you feel might be interested.
We would need the finished piece of art by December 12th 2014.

Monday, 23 June 2014

CRSF 2014: Post-Conference Report

This year's conference was different in a lot of ways. Due to circumstances beyond our control we were forced to hold it off-campus at a private conference centre closer to the University of Liverpool (The Gateway Centre, they were brilliant), it was the first time we've invited two keynotes who are both from outside of the Liverpool area, we had a greater proportion of fantasy papers than previous years (something we've been pushing for to even up the balance in the science fiction/fantasy/horror triumvirate), and we went to a new restaurant for our post-conference meal.

The restaurant was still an Italian though, some things never change. Other things that didn't change: the quality and variety of the papers was once again very high. We heard brilliant papers on zombies, Portal, Stargate Universe, chaos theory and epic fantasy, Philip K. Dick, and Fernando Spiner. Plus so much more. As ever I must repeat my mantra that a conference is nothing without its delegates and our delegates are the friendliest, best natured, most passionate and interesting people you could hope to find. CRSF is consistently praised for its atmosphere and as organisers we try to set the tone but it means nothing without these wonderful people, some of whom travel great distances to be with us. Thank you one and all....

The 2014 Conference Photo. As ever, sadly, some people had to depart before the day ended but most who attended are here.

We had thirty-four papers presented in thirteen panels across four streams.1 Delegates once again represented institutions all over the UK, as well as Finland, Germany, Ireland, the USA, and Venezuela. Overall there were fifty-four attendees, a CRSF record.

Gratitude is never a strong enough word for what I feel towards our keynote speakers. Each year we've been blessed by wonderful speakers and Dr. Mark Bould and Prof. Roger Luckhurst were no exception. Mark opened the day with his keynote "It Ain't No Jive, Trying to Stay Alive: Insurgency and Epidermality in Blaxploitation Sf", a talk which showed us a brave new world of sf cinema and ensured that I was humming the soundtracks to Shaft and Superfly for the rest of the day. The conference resumed after lunch with Roger's talk entitled "Corridor Horror", it represented the very newest of Roger's research (which after all is the remit of Current Research in Speculative Fiction), and took us on a tour of corridors in speculative fiction from The Shining to Star Wars and beyond, considering their role as liminal spaces and provoking a very healthy Q+A session.

Thanks also go to the Gateway Centre's Building Manager, Nigel, for being amazingly accommodating, making sure everything went smoothly, and providing us with a comfortable and modern venue, tasty food, and even for taking our conference photo (see above). Once again, thanks to Andy Sawyer, academic librarian for the Science Fiction Foundation collection at the University of Liverpool's Sydney Jones Library (and keynote speaker at CRSF 2011), for once more arranging for all delegates to receive free copies of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. And to Prof. David Seed for kindly donating a book for us to raffle off as a bonus for our delegates.

As ever we would appreciate feedback for CRSF 2014 and suggestions on how we could improve for the future (or just blanket praise, who doesn't like fan mail?), please leave comments on this post or send us an e-mail to crsf.team@gmail.com. We're also interested in any photos you may have taken of the conference or any of the affiliated social events, if you've got anything you'd be willing to share then please email it to us, or post it on our facebook page. I'm a big fan of having a twitter back-channel at conferences and so it was nice to see that CRSF 2014 was also our most tweeted conference. Not just from the conference official @CRSFteam account but also from our delegates. I've done my best to compile most of the tweets on this storify page so if you're not on twitter (or are worried you missed something) then take a look.

All that's left to say is that CRSF will return in 2015.

See you there!

- Glyn Morgan,

On behalf of fellow team members Molly Cobb, Leimar Garcia-Siino, Chris Pak, and Michelle Yost

*

1 One paper less than the record. Although it's probably worth noting that this year was the first time that, because of personal time constraints, none of the organisers contributed papers meaning that this year is actually the most papers by "regular attendees".

Sunday, 15 June 2014