Update on Science Fiction Panels at ASEEES and AATSEEL 2012

We’re very happy to announce that our three projected science fiction-themed panels for the 2012 ASEEES convention, to be held in New Orleans on November 15-18, are now being submitted – and fingers crossed, they will all be approved by the panel organisers. Our triad of panels examines, in  turn, three separate post-1917 historical periods within the general framework of the interaction of science and scientists with Soviet and post-Soviet literary fiction. Here they are, in outline:

  • Science Fiction I (Pre-revolutionary & Early Soviet): How the Style Was Tempered organized by Eric Laursen, University of Utah (eric.laursen@utah.edu)
  •  Science Fiction II (Cold War): Cold War, Hot Topics organized by Sibelan Forrester, Swarthmore College (sforres1@swarthmore.edu)
  • Science Fiction III (Post-Soviet): Apocalypse Then: Dystopian Narratives in Contemporary Eastern European Fiction organized by Sofya Khagi, University of Michigan (skhagi@umich.edu)

Many thanks to all those who volunteered to become panellists, discussants, or chairs on all three panels – we’re looking forward to November in New Orleans!

In other conference news,there were also a couple of science fiction panels at AATSEEL 2012 (Jan 5-8) in Seattle, the US’s second biggest Slavic Studies conference. At a panel on ‘Science as Fiction: Representing Soviet Science in Soviet Culture’, which was chaired by Sibelan Forrester (Swarthmore) and doubly discussanted by Devin Fore (Princeton) and Julia Vaingurt (Illinois), Muireann Maguire (Oxford) presented on the satirization of scientific research institutions in the works of Anatolii Dneprov and the Strugatskii Brothers, while Susanna Weygandt (Princeton) spoke about Stanislavsky, Lysenko, and Zelkind in the context of ‘Early Soviet Plasticity in the Sciences, Theater, and Dance‘. In a fascinating panel on ‘Automata, Robots, Clones: Anthropomorphism in Twentieth-Century Russian and Eastern European Culture’, Julia Vaingurt, Jacob Emery (Indiana), and Colleen McQuillen (Illinois) delivered papers on topics ranging from Karel Čapek and Kazuo Ishiguro to Władysław Starewicz, with Margo Rosen (Columbia) and Julia Chadaga (Macalester College) acting as chair and discussant respectively. See here for the full conference programme and abstracts. The call for papers and round tables at the next AATSEEL conference, to be held in Boston in January 2013, is now open, so get organizing those sci-fi panels!

Muireann Maguire