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Science Fiction Events Planned


UCR to Host Science Fiction Events

Leading scholars and authors to participate in yearlong series of programs.

(January 11, 2010)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Luminaries among science fiction authors and scholars will appear at the University of California, Riverside in a series of major events planned this year and next.

“These events, and others still in the planning stages, will affirm UCR’s reputation as an international center of science fiction scholarship,” said Rob Latham, associate professor of English.

Leading off the celebration of science fiction is a colloquium on Tuesday, Feb. 9, planned as part of UCR’s 32nd annual Writers Week, which runs Feb. 8-15. The colloquium, the first of its kind in the history of Writers Week, will feature Gregory Benford, Larry Niven and Sheila Finch in a panel moderated by Latham from noon to 2 p.m. in the reading room of Special Collections and Archives, located on the fourth floor of the Tomas Rivera Library. A reception will follow.

The second annual Science Fiction Studies Symposium will be held on Thursday, May 27, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the reading room of Special Collections and Archives in the Tomas Rivera Library. The symposium brings together three major science fiction scholars who will address the theme “Animal Studies and Science Fiction.” Participants will include Sherryl Vint, associate professor of English language and literature, discussing “Animal Studies in the Era of Biopower”; Joan Gordon, associate professor of English at Naussau Community College, “Talking (for, with) Dogs: Science Fiction Breaks the Species Barrier”; and Carol McGuirk, professor of English at Atlantic University, “The Animal Down-Deep: Cordwainer Smith’s Late Tales of the Underpeople.” Latham will moderate the discussion. A reception will follow and will include a celebration of Vint’s new book, “Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal” (Liverpool University Press, spring 2010).

The 30th annual Eaton Conference, focused on the theme “Global Science Fiction,” will be held Feb. 11-13, 2011, at the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside. Latham, along with Melissa Conway, head of UCR Special Collections and Archives, will chair the international committee that will plan the event. The committee is drafting a Call for Papers that will be posted by Feb. 1, 2010, with a likely submission date for paper abstracts of June or July 2010, Latham said. The conference will be the largest yet held, Conway said.

The new Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards will debut at the conference, which also will see the presentation of the third J. Lloyd Eaton Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction. Previous winners of the award were Ray Bradbury and Frederik Pohl.

All events are free and open to the public, but there is a charge for parking.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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