Science Fiction Studies


R.D. Mullen Research Fellowship Winners

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Each year since 2009-10, SFS awards R.D. Mullen Fellowships supporting research in the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Utopian Literature at the University of California at Riverside. Awards of up to $1500 are available to fund research in the archive. Students in good standing in graduate degree-granting programs are eligible to apply. We welcome applications from international students.

The Mullen Fellowship, named in honor of SFS’s founding editor, promotes archival work in the Eaton’s extensive holdings, which include over 100,000 hardcover and paperback books, over 250,000 fanzines, full runs of all major pulp and digest magazines, and the manuscripts of prominent sf writers such as Gregory Benford, David Brin, and Anne McCaffrey. Other noteworthy parts of the Collection are: 500 shooting scripts of science fiction films; 3500 volumes of proto-sf “boy’s books” of the Tom Swift variety; works of sf in numerous foreign languages, including Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish; a large collection of taped fan conventions and taped interviews with American, British, and French writers; reference materials on topics such as applied science, magic, witchcraft, UFOs, and Star Trek; an extensive collection of anime and manga; and the largest holdings of critical materials on science fiction and fantasy in the United States. Further information about the Eaton Collection can be found online at: <http://eaton-collection.ucr.edu/>.


2014-2015

JAMES MACHIN is a PhD student in Arts and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. His dissertation offers a cultural history of “weird fiction,” with a focus on its “Golden Age” of 1880-1940. He has had articles published in The Victorian and East-West Cultural Passage and has a review forthcoming in the Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies. While at the Eaton, he will explore the legacy of nineteenth-century decadence in Weird Tales magazine and will also examine the recently acquired archive of William Hope Hodgson’s papers.

STEVEN MOLLMAN is a PhD student in English at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. His dissertation examines scientists in Victorian literature and the way that thinking like a scientist is represented as a visual practice. He has had articles published in English Literature in Transition and Gaskell Journal and has presented his work at numerous conferences. His time in the Eaton will be spent reading rare future-war stories from the turn on the twentieth century, investigating the ways in which science and scientists were mobilized in fictional scenarios of large-scale conflict and revolution.

HANNAH MUELLER is a PhD student in German Studies at Cornell University, where she is pursuing Minors in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Film Studies. She has had chapters published in books on gender in Sherlock Holmes stories and on nudity in “quality television” series and has also done extension translation work. While at the Eaton, she will examine materials relevant to her ongoing study of “transformative media fandom,” with particular attention to the influence of media fans on the representation of female and sexual minority characters in popular culture.

2013-2014

JAMES M. LOHMAR is a PhD student in Classics at the University of Florida. His dissertation studies representations of violence in ancient Roman epic and their echoes in modern horror media. He has presented his work at the Classical Association of the Middle West and South and at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, and has published reviews in Classical Outlook and in Extrapolation. While at the Eaton, he will review coverage of horror cinema in such publications as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Cinefantastique, and Gore Creatures, and will also survey the collection's holdings of EC Comics.

MICHELLE K. YOST is a PhD student in English at the University of Liverpool. Her dissertation -- which has already been infused with archival research conducted at Ohio State University and at the Library of Congress -- seeks to develop a comprehensive bibliography of "hollow earth" narratives and to offer a critical-historical study of their speculative geology. She has written reviews for Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction and entries for the third edition of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia. During a three-week trip to the Eaton, she plans to read several very rare hollow earth stories, as well as to explore more recent pastiches of the genre in professional fan publications.

MARK T. YOUNG is a PhD student in English at the University of California, Riverside. His dissertation examined modes of musical "retro-futurism" in postwar American literature, including scxience fiction. He has presented work at the annual SFRA Conference, the Eaton Conference, and the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference, and his reviews have appeared in most major outlets in the field: Science Fiction Studies, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Extrapolation, and the SFRA Review. The fellowship will provide summer support enabling him to examine representations of jazz, blues, and rock music in magazine science fiction of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, as well as coverage of the rock scene in SF fan publications.

2012-2013

ANDREW FERGUSON is a PhD student in the English Department at the University of Virginia. His dissertation examines the aesthetics of “glitching” in modernist and postmodernist fiction, videogames, and sf. He received the award for best student paper delivered at the 2009 SFRA conference and the 2012 top prize from the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia for his work collecting the print materials of R.A. Lafferty. His work has appeared in SFS, the New York Review of Science Fiction, and other venues. He will spend ten days in the Eaton researching the “Shaver Mysteries” promoted in Amazing Stories during the mid-to-late 1940s. 

MATTHEW HOLTMEIER is a PhD candidate in Film Studies at the University of St. Andrews. His research, on “biopolitical production and cinematic subjectivity,” uses fan culture studies to examine the dynamics of affect and belief in popular film and television audiences. His essays have appeared in Short Film Studies, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, and the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture. He will spend a week in the Eaton studying the emergence of fan communities surrounding The X-Files, including working in the Mari Ruíz-Torres Collection of books, scripts, posters, photographs, and fan club materials relating to the program.

MALISA KURTZ is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Humanities at Brock University. Her dissertation examines the intersections of (post)colonialism, technoculture, and race in twentieth-century sf. She has presented her work at the Popular Culture Association of Canada conference and the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, and has won a number of competitive research fellowships. During a month in the Eaton, she plans to explore “the cultural construction of a pan-Asian identity” in early pulp sf.

2011-2012

JASON ELLIS applied from the PhD program in the English Department at Kent State University. His dissertation studies what he calls “neuronarratives,” sf texts that deal with the cognitive implications of artificial intelligence and human-machine interfaces. He is the coeditor of The Postnational Fantasy:  Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics, and Science Fiction (McFarland, 2011) and has published articles on H.G. Wells, on digital nomadism, and on World of Warcraft. He proposed to visit UC-Riverside to do research towards the writing of a dissertation chapter on “the effects of brain trauma” in the work of Philip K. Dick.

ALEXANDER ISER applied from the PhD program in the School of Communication and Culture at the University of Melbourne. His dissertation focuses on how time-travel narratives draw out the links “between apocalyptic crises and societal conceptions of time.” He proposed to spend several weeks at UC-Riverside examining the Eaton’s extensive fanzine collection for evidence of how readers interpreted major time-travel stories as allegories of cultural crisis.

JENNIFER L. LIEBERMAN applied from the PhD program in the Department of English at the University of Illinois. Her dissertation, entitled Power Lines: Electric Networks and the American Literary Imagination, studies how “literature helped to shape American perceptions of electrical technologies between 1870 and 1952.” She has published essays on Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and on Gertrude Atherton’s Patience Sparhawk and Her Times. She proposed to explore dime novels, boys’ adventure stories, and other proto/early-sf materials in terms of their evocation of the engineer as “the new frontiersman of the twentieth century.”

2010-2011

GERRY CANAVAN applied from the PhD program in the Literature Program at Duke University. His dissertation studies how science fiction, over the course of the twentieth century, has been implicated in the political discourses surrounding modernity and empire. He has published articles and reviews in journals such as Polygraph and Reviews in Cultural Theory, and is currently coediting a special issue of American Literature on “SF, Fantasy, and Myth.” He proposed to visit UC-Riverside for ten days in order to do research on the work of Philip K. Dick, Gregory Benford, and David Brin, including examining the extensive manuscripts by Benford and Brin held in the Eaton Collection.

DAVID HIGGINS applied from the PhD program in the Department of English at Indiana University. His dissertation, entitled “The Inward Urge: 1960s Science Fiction and Imperialism,” considers how New Wave SF responded to the waves of decolonization that marked the postwar period, in many cases recuperating imperial ideologies rather than critiquing them. He has published a number of reviews in SFS, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Science Fiction Film and Television. He proposed to spend one to two weeks exploring the Eaton’s run of Science Fantasy magazine published during the mid-1960s, in order to see how New Worlds’s erstwhile sibling publication developed its own “imaginary of Empire.”

TARYNE JADE TAYLOR applied from the PhD program in the Department of English at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on women’s science fiction, especially proto-feminist utopian writings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She has published an article in the journal Mythlore and presented her work at numerous conferences, including the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, the Mythopoeic Conference, and WisCon. She proposed to spend two weeks at UC-Riverside reading rare Victorian-Edwardian utopian novels written by women, some of which are held in fewer than a half-dozen research libraries worldwide.

2009-2010

JASON BOURGET applied from the PhD program in English literature at Queen’s University in Canada. His dissertation examines representations of masculinity in late-twentieth-century science fiction. His essay “Biological Determinism, Masculine Politics, and the Failure of Libertarianism in Robert A. Heinlein Moon is a Harsh Mistress” is forthcoming in Foundation. He proposed to visit UC-Riverside for twelve weeks during Spring and Summer 2009 to work in the fanzine archive, to study the reaction of the sf community to radical representations of masculinity in New Wave texts of the 1960s and 1970s.

ELIZABETH BERKBILE McMANUS applied from the PhD program in the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University. Her dissertation excavates “spaces of fantasy” in the writings of nineteenth-century French author Théophile Gautier, with a particular focus on discourses of travel, drugs, and the sublime. She proposed to access the Eaton’s extensive holdings in French fantastic and utopian literature, as well as French translations of classic works of fantasy and proto-science fiction.

WANDA RAIFORD applied from the PhD program in English at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on representations of racial identity in modern American science fiction. An essay on Battlestar Galactica, “Race, Robots, and the Law,” was recently published in the anthology New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction. She proposed to spend two weeks in the Eaton’s fanzine archive studying the history of Carl Brandon, a fictional black sf fan invented by Terry Carr in the 1950s, and James Fitzgerald, the African-American founder of the Sciencers, a 1930s fan group.


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