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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.