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Science Fiction Symposium

Animal Studies and Science Fiction

UC Riverside’s second annual Science Fiction Studies Symposium set for May 27.

(May 6, 2010)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside’s second annual Science Fiction Studies Symposium will present three scholars discussing topics related to the theme “Animal Studies and Science Fiction” beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 27. A reception will follow.

The symposium will be held in the Reading Room of Special Collections and Archives on the fourth floor of the Tomás Rivera Library. The event is free; parking is $6.

Speakers and their topics include:

“Animal Studies in the Era of Biopower,” Sherryl Vint, associate professor of English at Brock University, Ontario. She is the author of “Bodies of Tomorrow: Technology, Subjectivity, Science Fiction” (2007) and “Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal” (2010). She also is an editor of the collections “The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction” (2009), “Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction” (2009) and “Beyond Cyberpunk: New Critical Perspectives” (2010), and co-edits the journals Extrapolation, Science Fiction Film and Television, and Humanimalia.

“Talking (for, with) Dogs: Science Fiction Breaks the Species Barrier,” Joan Gordon, professor of English at Nassau Community College in New York. She is a former president of the Science Fiction Research Association, an editor for the journals Science Fiction Studies and Humanimalia, and co-edited collections of scholarly essays including “Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture” (1997), “Edging Into the Future: Science Fiction and Contemporary Cultural Transformation” (2002) and “Queer Universes: Sexualities in Science Fiction” (2008).

“The Animal Down-Deep: Cordwainer Smith’s Late Tales of the Underpeople,” Carol McGuirk, professor of English at Florida Atlantic University and an editor of Science Fiction Studies. During the 1980s she wrote a column on science fiction for the New York Daily News, and she has written three books about the poet Robert Burns. As a science fiction scholar, one of her research interests is the author Cordwainer Smith. Her talk is part of her ongoing project “Dominion,” which considers literary representations of animals from Milton’s “Paradise Lost” (1667) to Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (1968).

The moderator is Rob Latham, associate professor of English at UC Riverside and a senior editor of Science Fiction Studies.

The symposium is cosponsored by Science Fiction Studies, the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Utopian Literature at UCR, and the UCR English Department Lecture Committee.

The proceedings from the first symposium, on the topic “The Histories of Science Fiction,” were recently published in Science Fiction Studies in March 2010.

For more information contact Latham at (951) 827-5301 or



The University of California, Riverside ( 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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