CRSF is about bringing together the most cu

First held in 2011, CRSF is an annual 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.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

CRSF 2018: A Retrospective

In June 2018, the eighth annual Current Research in Speculative Fiction conference took place, welcoming approximately 40 delegates and attendees to our new base in the School of Arts Library at the University of Liverpool.

The team decided to kick off CRSF 2018 with an eye to our creative aspirations. Following the success of the PGR workshop, "The Role of the Fantastic", that began CRSF 2017, on the 28th June we held a science fiction creative writing workshop, gathering together 13 aspiring writers and two fantastic authors for lively discussion. The session was led by our two visiting experts, Justina Robson and Tricia Sullivan. Our enthusiastic attendees, representing diverse forms of speculative fiction and unique voices, formed into groups led by Tricia and Justina, and indulged in wide ranging debate, from creative processes and writing styles, to self-confidence and writer’s block. Specific questions concerning individual stumbling blocks were fielded by Tricia and Justina, generously offering person to person guidance with detailed responses and personalised advice.

On 29th June the conference proper began. By 9 am CRSF 2018 was well underway welcoming delegates and attendees from all over the globe to our new base in the School of Arts library. We witnessed a truly exciting variety of first time presenters and returning speakers, delivering exciting papers on topics from gaming and the environment to young adult fiction and horror. The team would like to thank everyone who took part in the conference for their time and hard work, and for their inspiring presentations which continue to equally amaze, motivate and provoke some mild PhD envy in us. CRSF is made possible and truly enjoyable by you and it continues to be a great privilege for us to be host to such an outstandingly friendly and open-minded research community.

Special thanks also to our keynote speakers: Tricia Sullivan, "On Starting Over" and Dr Mark Bould (UWE Bristol) "Science Fiction and the Anthropocene Unconscious", who both gave provoking, insightful and entertaining keynote lectures, as well as attending numerous panels, offering perceptive and enlightening discussion, and entering fully into the spirit of the day. We are also grateful to the participants of the “How to Get Published” panel which was an experimental endeavour, new to CRSF 2018, to support PGRs with useful information and advice as they look into publishing their work: Dr Mark Bould, Dr Chris Pak, Dr Emily Cox, Kerry Dodd and Dr Will Slocombe, we are indebted to you all for your insight and generosity with your time.

Last but not least, we are, as always, deeply appreciative of the University of Liverpool staff who made sure that the process of organising and hosting the conference ran so smoothly. Our gratitude to Andy Sawyer, Foundation collection librarian, for the previous issues of Foundation enriching our conference packs and the wonderful selection of books presented at the event, and Blackwell’s Phillip Larner for joining us again, providing us a great selection of fiction and non-fiction.

As always we welcome your feedback on CRSF 2018, all comments are useful and appreciated. Please leave a comment on this post, or e-mail them to us at 
Please stand by for our next post on CRSF 2019!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

2018 Conference Schedule

CRSF 2018 is being held at the University of Liverpool on Friday 29th June, the planned schedule is as follows:

9:00-9:30: Registration and Refreshments

9:30-10:30: Keynote Lecture #1: Tricia Sullivan,
On Starting Over

10:30 -12:00: First Round of Panels
1.1: Philosophy of Gameplay
- Emily Cox – “Another Settlement Needs Your Help!” Oikonomic Gameplay in Fallout 4
Kerry Dodd – ‘Never to Return’ – Airship Communities and Ritualised Travel
Connor Jackson – Zombies in Video Games, Ludic Satire and Ludonarrative Dissonance

1.2: Overwhelming the Normative
- Felix Kawitzky – The Changeling’s Story: The Fantastic Duplicity of Queer Bodies in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fiction

- Maria Quigley – The Resurrection of the Subversive Zombie Girl in The Girl With All the Gifts
Hannah Spruce – Disrupting the Conflation of Psychopathy and Autism in the MaddAddam Trilogy

1.3: Sociopolitics and Speculative Fictions
- Eamon Reid – Rabble Above, Rabble Below: The Representation of Socioeconomic Class Within the Star Wars Universe
- Victoria Zammit – ‘A World and A Mirror of Worlds’: Fantasy Literature as a Tool to Understanding Reality
- Nicholas Wanberg – Fantasy at the Margins of the Anti-Racist Agenda: A Re-Reading of the Harry Potter Series

12:00 -12:45: Lunch Break 

12:45 -14:15: How to Get Published Panel
 - Foundation
 - Vector
 - Fantastika
 - and more

14:15 -15:45: Third Round of Panels
3.1Embodiment and the Interface
- Chris Pak – The Drill in Science Fiction and Fracking
- Mike Ryder – The Literature of Drones: Ethics and Remote Killing in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game
- Agata
Waszkiewicz – Mediated Worlds, Mediated Bodies: Between the Player and the Video Interface

3.2Death of the Environment and Cli-Fi
- Andrew Stones -Welcome to the Dystopian Real: Decolonising Climate Fictions
- Ralph Dorey – Bio-Film Assemblages and Ahuman Horror
- Britta Maria Colligs – The Forest as a Voice for Nature: Ecocriticism in Fantasy Literature

15:45 -16:00: Refreshment Break 

16:00 -17:30: Fourth Round of Panels
4.1: SF Productions
- Jemima Cloud – Shaun of the Dead Classy: Production is to Satisfy; Narrative is to Pacify
- Declan Lloyd – Cubist Time Travel in
Chris Marker’s La Jetée
- Zoe Wible – Science Fiction Creatures in Film and the Defamiliarization of Size and Scale

4.2Memory and Narrative Nostalgia
- Taylor Driggers – Escaping (into) the Past? Nostalgia and Radical Theological Imagination in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- Siravich Kurat – Chained Identity: Memory Manipulation in Chain Memories
- Jamie Cabrera -

4.3: The Posthuman Sensorium
- Eva Dinis – Maria Judite de Carvalho’s Relocation to the Thirdspacekatie
- Katie Stone – Young Demons: Childhood in Science Fiction and its Criticism
- Tom Kewin -

17.30 -18.30: Keynote Lecture #2: Dr Mark Bould
Science Fiction and the Anthropocene Unconscious

18.30 -19.00: Post-Conference Wine Reception and Official Conference Group Photo

 Also, Eventbrite links for CRSF are here (, as well as a second link for a free masterclass hosted by Tricia Sullivan and Justina Robson ( 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Call for Papers: CRSF 2018

CRSF 2018

Friday 29th June 2018
University of Liverpool

With Keynote Lectures from:

Tricia Sullivan (Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Author)
Dr Mark Bould (UWE Bristol) 

Returning for its eighth year, the Current Research in Speculative Fictions conference is a one day postgraduate event designed to promote the research of speculative fictions, including Science FictionHorror and Fantasy not only in literature but also in visual and performative arts. Attracting an international selection of delegates, CRSF showcases some of the latest research in these ever-evolving fields, while also providing a platform for postgraduate students to present their current research, engage in discussion with scholars in related subjects and create 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 •Animal Studies •Anthropocene •Body Horror •Cyber Culture •Disability •Fan Culture •Gaming •Genre •Gender •Graphic Novels •Human and Non-human Sentience •Liminal Fantasy •Metafiction •Memory •Morality •Monstrosity •Otherness •Poetry •Politics •Post-Colonialism •Posthumanism •Proto-SF •Psychology •Realism •Sexuality •Slipstream •Spiritualism •Steampunk •Supernatural •Transhumanism •Technology •Time •TV, Film and Theatre •Urban Fantasy •Utopia/Dystopia •Virtuality •Weird Fiction •Young Adult Fiction.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words for a 20 minute English language paper and a 100 word biography to by Friday 30th April 2018.

For further information email the conference team at 
Or visit our website:

Thursday, 2 November 2017

CRSF 2017: A Retrospective

After a tumultuous summer peppered with international conferences, and attempts to get the work-life balance right, the CRSF team is back to work on the preparations of the next conference. Before sharing news of CRFS 2018, we’d like to recap, and share our experience with CRFS 2017.

CRSF was breaking its own records in 2016 with 56 delegates in total, due in no small part to CRSF’s steady growth throughout its previous years, the amazing organising team in Glyn, Leimar, Molly and Chris, as well as the excellent Science Fiction Research Association [SFRA] conference hosted by the University Liverpool.

On 9th June 2017, CRSF returned for the seventh time with a new team eager to continue the success of the previous years. However, we made a few mistakes that we will work on next year, we managed to keep the numbers very close to the previous year’s conference, with 52 delegates in total from across Europe and further afield. We witnessed truly exciting research from first time presenters and returning speakers alike, delivering on a plethora of topics from video game theory, metafictions, queer theory, and Weird ontologies. We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the conference for their inspiring papers which continue to open new horizons for fellow researchers, and for every hit and tweet that help us to grow on our social media forums as well. This conference could never be what it is without the support and encouragement of our peers, which not only create a vibrant and exciting research community, but allow us to continue hosting a conference for such welcoming, diverse researchers.

Special thanks to our keynote speakers: Dr Bernice Murphy (Trinity College Dublin) and Dr Robert Maslen (University of Glasgow) who not only gave insightful and entertaining keynote lectures but also lead an AHRC funded DTP event, The Role of the Fantastic, on 8 June, teaming up with Dr Brian Baker (University of Lancaster) and Dr Will Slocombe (University of Liverpool).

Last but not least, we’d like to thank the University of Liverpool staff who made sure that the process of organising and hosting the conference ran so smoothly: the Rendall Building staff, and Filomena Saltao, the Administrator of the School of the Arts, and Elizabeth Farrar. 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. Big thanks to Blackwell’s and Grace Edwards for setting up a stall providing books, carefully tailored for the conference, and as always, thanks to the staff at Il Forno, who hosted our delegates as our traditional restaurant of choice.

As always we welcome your feedback on CRSF 2017, all comments are useful and appreciated. Please leave a comment on this post, or e-mail them to us at

Please stand by for our next post on CRSF 2018!

CRSF team

Friday, 2 June 2017

Rethinking the Contemporary: The Role of the Fantastic

With less than a week to go until CRSF 2017, we're hoping those papers are coming along well!
In other news, we've got information about a free masterclass running alongside CRSF 2017 (also hosted by the University of Liverpool) that explores the 'fantastic', whether conceived as gothic, SF, fantasy, or horror. Booking information below:…
Lastly, anyone still interested in registering for CRSF 2017 can find registration details here:…

Saturday, 13 May 2017

2017 Conference Schedule

CRSF 2017 is being held at the University of Liverpool on Friday 9th June, the planned schedule is as follows:

9:00-9:30: Registration and Refreshments

9:30-10:30: Keynote Lecture #1: Dr Bernice Murphy,
American Apocalypse: Plague Narratives, Popular Culture and White Anxiety in the Age of Donald Trump

10:30 -12:00: First Round of Panels
1.1: Body and Power
- Claudine Bollinger - Reading Bodies, Reading Minds: Enhanced Cognition in Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice
- Alex Parker - Slave-Mentality and the Violence of Coercion in Octavia Butler’s Dawn and Adulthood Rites
- Danielle Girard - Fanning the Queer: Slash Spock

1.2: Biopolitics
- Emily Cox – More Machine than Woman? Bare Life and the ‘Naked’ Gynoid in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina
- Meghann Hillier-Broadley – “Part of its appeal lay all too clearly in the fact that this was an environment built, not for man, but for man’s absence”: Brutalistic atavism in J. G. Ballard’s High Rise.
Sandra Mänty - Place and Space for Animals in a magic-infused World - the case of  Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them

1.3: Freaks and the Monstrous
- Dr Sarah Cleary - The Mythos of Slender Man
- Maria Quigley - Little Zombie Girls

12:00 -12:45: Lunch Break 

12:45 -14:15: Second Round of Panels
2.1: Adolescent Narratives
- Alison Baker - Alison Baker: Harry Potter: The Hero’s Journey or Radicalised Youth?
- Meriem Rayen Lamara - ‘Old tales told Anew’: Intertextuality and Retellings in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
- Rachel Fennell -
Four and Twenty Naughty Boys Baked in a Pie: The Song of the Rat Cook and other Cannibal Fairy Tales for Children

2.2: SF and Cultural Productions
- Ian Farnell - Theatre, Science Fiction and Nick Payne’s Elegy
- Raphael Kabo – The Snow and the Zone: Creating communitas on the thresholds of SF cinema
- Jaime Oliveros Garcia -
Connecting Cognitive Narratology and Ergodism: Gods will be Watching, the last Chapter

2.3: Metafiction and Authorship
- Ashley Gordon - Blinded by the Light: Blind Brain Theory and Inhuman Authorship in Peter Watts’ Blindsight and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
- Päivi Väätänen - “Engage Second-Person Present” Metafictional Challenges to Readers in “The Magical Negro” by Nnedi Okorafor and “The Venus Effect”
- Fanny Geuzaine - The Devouring Mouth: Challenging Immortality in Neil Gaiman’s Short Stories

14:15 -15:45: Third Round of Panels
3.1Spatial and Temporal Boundaries
- Miriam Elin - Rebuilding a Nation: Welsh-language Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
- Thomas Connolly - History for Life: Nietzsche and the many histories of London’s The Star Rover, Doyle’s The Lost World and Gilman’s Herland
- Kerry Dodd - The Archaeological Weird – Articulating Exhumed Horrors and Inexplicable Ancientness

3.2Soundscapes and Landscapes
- Jemima Cloud - 28 Days Later, 28 Years Behind: How music reflects the surprisingly conservative ideology of family in 28 Days Later
- Anya Hancock - ‘The nicely managed crescendo’: Soundscapes of horror in BBC adaptations of M.R. James’ ghost stories and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973).
- Declan Lloyd - J. G. Ballard and the Great Lost Salvador Dali Ad-campaign

15:45 -16:00: Refreshment Break 

16:00 -17:30: Fourth Round of Panels
4.1: Unsustainable Futures
- Sarah Lohmann - The Coming Races: Self-Defeating Eugenics in Late-19th-Century Utopian Literature
- Asami Nakamura -
The Sexual Politics of Memory in Katherine Burdekin’s Swastika Night  
- Mike Ryder - ‘Future Soldiers’: the Soldier, the Citizen and the State

4.2Creation through Destruction
- Fanni Petrák - Homo Craker
- Michael Power - ‘He Has Taken His Revenge: The Posthuman Subject as a Consequence of Vengeance’.

4.3: Volatile Subjects
- Jaime Wright - Exploring Science and Religion through Speculative Fiction: ‘God is a Cluster of Neurons’ and Other Failed Propositions by the Scientist Crake
- Claire Quigley - Mushroom Morphology: Examining Transformative Properties of Fungus in Weird Fiction
- Daniel Panka – The Exhilaration of the Gaze in Dave Egger’s The Circle

17.30 -18.30: Keynote Lecture #2: Dr Robert Maslan
The Politics of Celtic Fantasy

18.30 -19.00: Post-Conference Wine Reception and Official Conference Group Photo

For registration at CRSF 2017, see the following link: