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.

Friday, 22 June 2012

CRSF 2012: Post-Conference Report

Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2012 [CRSF] was held this year on Monday 18th June and was a great success.

Once again we received papers and delegates who were open, friendly, engaging and constructive. Here's how Leimar Garcia-Siino, one of the delegates, described it:

The conference was superb, balancing nerd-excitement and the thrill of academic SF perfectly.

Which, frankly, is the best praise we could receive as it sums up the entire ethos of CRSF: to provide a friendly and welcoming atmosphere of like-minded scholars at a similar stage in their careers with the opportunity to discuss and engage with a wide range of current research.

End of day conference photo. As with last year's photo this is not representative of everyone who attended as several delegates had to rush off.

Our aim this year was always simply to pull it off. To prove that 2011 wasn't simply a one-off and that there really is an appetite for an annual Post-Graduate conference in sf. Any growth we could achieve would simply be a bonus. 

As it was we received many more papers than last year, and great thanks must go out to the delegates who presented the thirty-five papers spread over thirteen panels.1 We had, in all, fifty delegates at the conference2 and they travelled from as far afield as Ankara University, Turkey, in the East and University of Virginia, USA, in the West, with representatives from institutions in twelve countries in Europe and North America.

Special thanks are extended to our keynote speakers: Prof. David Seed (University of Liverpool) and Prof. Fred Botting (Kingston University London) for their engaging and enlightening talks and their presence at the conference. Professor Seed's paper was "Framing the Reader in Early Science Fiction", and explored the use of paratextual narrative frames in scientific romance, utopian fiction and other early forms of sf. Professor Botting's paper was a discussion of speculative realist philosophy and HP Lovecraft and was entitled "More Things: Horror, Materialism and Speculative Realism".3

Further thanks go out to the staff of the University of Liverpool for the use of their facilities, their support in arranging the conference, and their work behind the scenes which enabled us to put on a successful day of academia. Particular thanks go to Mr. 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 again arranging for all delegates to receive free copies of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction.

As ever we would appreciate feedback for CRSF 2012 and suggestions on how we could improve for the future, please leave comments on this post or send us an e-mail to You may also be interested in the small photo album of pictures on our facebook page.

CRSF will return in 2013. Watch this space.

- Glyn Morgan, Chris Pak, Michelle Yost and David McWilliam

1 Up seven papers and two panels on CRSF 2011.
2 An increase on CRSF 2011's total of forty-two attendees.
3 In an interesting quirk, Professor Botting allowed the delegates to select his paper via ballot during regestration and lunch. The rejected paper would have been on zombies.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

CRSF 2012 Schedule and Paper Titles

CRSF 2012 is just days away.

This year's conference received an even greater swell of papers and support than last years and we must thank everyone who submitted an abstract as well as those who helped to spread the word and ensure that this year's conference will be bigger, and hopefully better, than last year's.

As you can see below it's a varied and interesting day we've got ahead of us.

If you're interested in attending the conference to see some of these papers please get in touch:

Here's the schedule for the day:

Registration and Refreshments             Rendall Building Foyer
Keynote Lecture #1: Professor David Seed
Lecture Theatre 3

Games and Gaming
Lecture Theatre 3
Chair: Chris Pak
Christos Callow
Stephen Kenneally
Andrew Ferguson

Lecture Theatre 2
Chair: Michelle Yost
Eve Bennett
Jennifer Harwood-Smith
Anna McFarlane
Seminar Room SR124
Chair: David McWilliam
Tuğçe Tümer
Chloe Buckley
Xavier Aldana Reyes
Seminar Room SR125
Chair: Elsa Bouet
Leimar Garcia-Siino
Giulia I. Sandelewski


Variations in SF
Lecture Theatre 3
Chair: Elsa Bouet
Arthur Newman
Glyn Morgan
Critics / Urban
Lecture Theatre 2
Chair: Michelle Yost
Ruth McLaughlin
Ruth Doherty
Seminar Room SR124
Chair: Chris Pak
Richard Howard
Marie Lottman
Black SF
Seminar Room SR125
Chair: Chloe Buckley
Florian Bast
Jessica Edwards
Lunch            Rendall Building Foyer
Keynote Lecture #2: Professor Fred Botting
Lecture Theatre 3

Lecture Theatre 3
Chair: David McWilliam
Li-Anne Nixon
Donna Mitchell
Özge Erdem
European SF I
Lecture Theatre 2
Chair: Michelle Yost
Mariano Martin Rodriguez
Giulia Iannuzzi
Sandra Mänty

Modes of Understanding
Seminar Room SR124
Chair: Glyn Morgan
Lykara Ryder
Rhys Williams
Elsa Bouet
Seminar Room SR125
Chair: Ruth Doherty
Simon Spiegel
Phil Nichols
Daniel Lukes
Refreshments            Rendall Building Foyer

Transhuman / AI
Lecture Theatre 3
Chair: Chris Pak
Hallvard Haug
Amy Christmas Caroline Egan

Dr. Who
Lecture Theatre 2
Chair: Glyn Morgan
Mark Richard Adams
Katherine Buse
Michelle Yost

Seminar Room SR124
Chair: David McWilliam
Hussein Zamani
Clare Wall
Paul Frith

- Room Closed -

And here are the paper titles:

  • Richard Adams - "Marketing Doctor Who: Contextualising British Public Service Broadcasting and Commercialisation"  4
  • Florian Bast - "“There Was Barely a Recognizable Human Feature Left”: Octavia Butler’s “The Evening and the Morning and the Night” and the Narration of Self in the Face of its Looming Self-Destruction"   5
  • Eve Bennett - "Deus Ex Machina: Apocalyptic AI in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"
  • Elsa Bouet - Displacing the Real: Simulation, Desires and the Thirteenth Floor 
  • Chloe Buckley - "‘Too Gigantic to be Seen, too Horrible to be Understood’: The Weird Monstrous in The Power of Five and Skulduggery Pleasant"  10
  • Katherine Buse - "The Special Relationship: Doctor Who on Hollywood and the Decline of ‘Britishness’"  12
  • Christos Callow - "Moral Responsibility and Philosophy in a Post-Nuclear World: The Interactive Dystopia of Fallout New Vegas"    13
  • Amy Christmas - "A.I.R. – Augmented Intimacies Revisited"  14
  • Ruth Doherty - "Explorations of Overpopulation in Late Nineteenth-Century Speculative Fiction"  15
  • Jessica Edwards "‘Flesh-Machines>><<Bodies By Design: The Engineering of The Black Womandroid’"   16
  • Caroline Egan - "‘As the Sounds of Playgrounds Faded’: The Impact of Sterility on Society in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, P.D James’ Children of Men and Jane Roger’s The Testament of Jessie Lamb"    18
  • Özge Erdem - "Violating Borders: Carmilla"   19
  • Andrew Ferguson - "Glitches, Narrative Theory, and Final Fantasy VI"    20
  • Paul Frith - ""It was Good to Get Out into the Fresh Air After Seeing this Film": Realism, Censorship and the Post-War Horror Film"   21
  • Leimar Garcia-Siino - "Metafantasy by Resembling Fantasy: George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones"   22
  • Hallvard Haug - "Post-human, post-memory: Mnemotechnics in Charles Stross’ Accelerando"   23
  • Jennifer Harwood-Smith - "Frayed Bodies and Minds: Fringe and the Deterioration of Bodily Integrity"   24
  • Richard Howard - "‘Estrange Conflict: Fragments of The Irish Troubles in Bob Shaw’s ‘Slow Glass’ Stories’"  25
  • Giulia Iannuzzi - "Italian Science Fiction Literature: Magazines and Works from the Fifties to the Seventies, in search of a Critical Citizenship Between Mass Literature and Ghetto" 27
  • Stephen Kenneally - "'Roll a Character': The Construction of Gender and Sexuality in Tabletop Roleplaying Games"  29
  • Marie Lottmann - "The Politics of Science Fiction Television"   30
  • Daniel Lukes - "The Artificial Father: Darth Vader and the Patriarchal Prosthetic"   31
  • Sandra Mänty - "Does Fiction See the Exit of Anthropocentrism?"   33
  • Anna McFarlane - "Deconstructing Lost:  An Argument for Re-Assessment"   34
  • Ruth McLaughlin - "Homesick – Architecture and the Domestic Dystopia"    35
  • Donna Mitchell - "Strained Sisterhoods: A Critique of Femininity and Female Sexuality in Gothic Literature"   36
  • Glyn Morgan - "Investigating Nothing: Trends in the Publication of Alternate Histories of the Second World War"   38
  • Arthur Newman - "“Muldoon […] on the other side of the Moon”: Fantastic frontiers in Stephen Baxter's Voyage and Paul Muldoon's 'Madoc: A Mystery'"    39
  • Phil Nichols - "Apocalyptic Revisions: Ray Bradbury’s Screenplay Versions of The Martian Chronicles"  40
  • Li-Anne Nixon - "Notions of Identity, Reproduction and Colonisation in Vampire Narratives"   41
  • Xavier Aldana Reyes - "Whereto the ‘Gothic Experience’?: Contesting the Aesthetic Surface Model through Post-Millennial Body Horror"   43
  • Mariano Martín Rodríguez - "Longing for the Empire? Modernist Lost-Race Tale and Dystopian Mode in Spain"
  • Lykara Ryder - "The ‘Dazzling Project of Making a Malacandrian Grammar’ in Out of the Silent Planet"   44
  • Simon Spiegel - "In Search of the Utopian Film"   45
  • Giulia I. Sandelewski - "Courting the Faeries: Dreams of Shakespeare and Marlowe"  48
  • Tuğçe Tümer - "Exploring Freud and Gothic in Coral‘I’ne"   50
  • Clare Wall - "Monstrous and Alienating Selves in China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station, and Iron Council"  51
  • Rhys Williams - "‘Cognition’ Should be a Dirty Word"  52
  • Hussein Zamani - "Historical Trace of Monsters in British Literature"