Science Fiction Studies

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#108 = Volume 36, Part 2 = July 2009


NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE

The Canonical is Not Sacred: Public Domain and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The wonderful thing about comic book and graphic novel narratives: they operate in so many alternative realities that any discrepancy can be explained as having occurred in a parallel time-line or alternate history. Whenever the canon is changed in the DC or Marvel universe or a superhero’s personality or biography is altered, the change can be represented as happening in another dimension, perhaps on a separate earth.1 (The first introduction of an alternate earth in the DC universe occurred in 1953, in Wonder Woman 59, where the heroine falls through a space/time anomaly and encounters her double, Terra Terruna.) Yet why do the same events happen to Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman in the 1960s and in the twenty-first century? Without regard to issues of the archetype, how does the origin of Batman occur in the 1930s and then recur in the 1990s? The answer depends on the timeline you are looking at—although DC has cleared up the multiverse paradox, having in the Crises of Infinite Earths series (1986) eliminated fifty-two known alternate earths, each with its own superheroes and history.                

Beyond the parallel history, another way to re-envision the past is by adapting factual history or literary works in the public domain. This is the case with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2001-03), scripted by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O’Neil, which creates a Victorian-era universe populated by fictional characters from the minds of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, et al. The series was conceived as a “Justice League of Victorian England” that would use a mixture of iconic characters and canonical literature: H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quartermain joins forces with Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo, H.G. Wells’s Invisible Man, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to thwart threats to the monarchy and the hegemony of England.                

In volume 1 Wilhelmina (Mina) Murray, former wife of the now dead Count Dracula—she is also a vampire—is called upon by British government official Campion Bond, head of an early version of M15 (it is implied but never stated that he is an ancestor of James Bond) to assemble this team of Victorian heroes and anti-heroes to put a stop to an escalating conflict between two criminal organizations, one headed by the evil Dr. Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis) and the other by Sax Rohmer’s nefarious character Fu Manchu. This clashing of the East against the West, with its deployment of new technology (sky warfare with airships), threatens to bring about World War I sooner than the timeline intends.2                

Volume 2 treads further into the fantastic. Mars is populated by humanoids, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter. Mollusk-type beings with their death-ray machines attack Mars first and then set their sights on Earth. This changes Wells’s alien invaders somewhat. Yet although they may not be actual Martians, they are essentially the same as in Wells’s book. These aliens devastate earth, doing considerable damage to London and killing tens of thousands of people. Mina and Quartermain are sent to retrieve a package from Dr. Moreau, who has been removed from his island and given a sanctioned area in the outskirts of London to continue his experiments with animals, contingent on the agreement that he create weapons for the Crown’s use. In this case, he has developed an early anthrax, which is placed in mortar shells and fired at the aliens, who of course are killed. When Mina states that there are still living humans in South London where the anthrax was released, Campion Bond, puffing on his pipe, smugly replies, “Officially the Martians died of a common cold. Any humans died of Martians.” Captain Nemo is appalled and resigns for being “used” to deliver “disease bombs.”
                Alan Moore has stated that The League is an “overt history of the popular imagination”:

The planet of the imagination is as old as we are. It has been humanity’s constant companion with all of its fictional locations, like Mount Olympus and the gods, and since we first came down from the trees, basically. It seems very important, otherwise we wouldn’t have it. Fiction is clearly one of the first things that we do when we stand upright as a species—we tell each other stories.... We have depended upon them and to some degree the fictional world is completely intertwined and interdependent with the material world. (Tantimedh)

There are political and global issues at work beyond the entertaining adventure story. The British government’s creation of the League—the betrayals, secrets, and ulterior motives—brings these supernatural and exemplary characters together under government control. In this way the government controls imagination and by controlling the imagination, achieves dominion over thought.                

Graphic sex is an essential part of The League and is typical of Moore’s writing style. Mina and Quartermain have a sexual relationship—a very old man and an immortal vampire seem to be a perfect fit. The reader is witness to several explicit sex scenes that are not enticing, with Quartermain’s thin, wrinkled, frail body on top of Mina’s young, perfect vampire body. Mr. Hyde is a character known for his desire for raping and pillaging, proclivities he attempts to control while a “hero.” In Book Two, however, when the Invisible Man is discovered to be a traitor to mankind (he aligns himself with the alien invaders), Mr. Hyde takes justice into his own (powerful) hands. In an absurd series of panels, Hyde is depicted raping thin air (i.e., the Invisible Man); there are screams of agony and a great deal of blood. Hyde experiences perverse pleasure in this act, revealing his true nature. The Invisible Man dies from the brutal rape; Hyde later sacrifices (perhaps punishes) himself by attacking a Martian war machine head on and is fried to death by laser beams.                

With those two deaths and Nemo’s resignation, the Victorian-era League evidently is disbanded. The third graphic novel, The Black Dossier (2003), is based on a pilfered secret file chronicling the adventures of Leagues dating back to the 1600s (when Virginia Woolf’s Orlando teams up with Shakespeare’s Ariel and Caliban) and the 1700s, when Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver and John Cleland’s Fanny Hill travel together, putting a stop to outlandish villains (Dr. Sax is the nemesis of Sal Paradise, Jack Kerouac’s literary double). Reaction from League fans has, however, been lukewarm.                

The intricate plots and research behind the Victorian-era stories provide the kind of writing for which Alan Moore is famous. In the history of comics, writers have been traditionally less important than the artists or the characters they create; yet in the past twenty years, comic book script-writers have emerged as stylists in their own right. Moore is known for his layered, often non-linear, narratives. His scripts are known to be unlike the typical comic book script, which gives a brief description with dialogue for a panel or page, leaving details to the artists. Moore, in contrast, has been known to describe every image in a panel, from an overturned cup to an arcane detail in the panel’s corner. His scripts for a 48-page comic have come in at 100+ pages. His eye for detail is evident throughout The League. Every character, major or minor, comes from a work of Victorian fiction: one example is a brief appearance by Charles Dickens’s Artful Dodger, who helps the street kids in London find shelter when Fu Manchu’s forces begin an air attack. Moore mixes canonical works with his own imagination to create a new text, much in the way that metafictional authors such as Donald Barthelme (Snow White, 1967) and Robert Coover (Pinocchio in Venice, 1991) have appropriated fables, reinventing them for their own use. Moore has indicated an influence from metafictions by Thomas Pynchon as well.                

Alan Moore originally carved a niche for himself by reviving characters such as Swamp Thing, creating the anti-hero as eco-friendly and writing famous storylines for both Spider-Man and Batman. He created the original series Watchmen (1986-87), about alternate timeline superheroes in the 1950s-80s dealing with Cold War politics. It was recently made into a movie that Moore refused to place his name on. He has worked further in England’s past, re-creating history, with From Hell (1991-98), which explores the mystery behind Jack the Ripper. It is curious to note that Moore has himself become a canonical figure in comic book publishing by adapting canonical works, myths, and legends.                

It seems unlikely that Moore and O’Neil will return to the Victorian League now that its heroes are dead or disillusioned. The short-lived series caught the attention of the world, with two best-selling volumes, a movie, and unofficial companion guides that further explain the intricacies of Moore’s alternate history. There is also a pornographic parody, Eighty Days in Captivity (2005), in which Phileas Fogg wins a sex slave in a card game who is commanded to have relations with his famous friends, who happen to be members of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The public domain is fertile with possibilities for playing with earlier literary works and characters, allowing the imagination freedom to roam where it wishes.—Michael Hemmingson, San Diego

NOTES
                1. This has been the defense for changing canonical history in the eleventh Star Trek film (2009), directed by J.J. Abrams.
                2. Those familiar with the movie version will note some major differences. In the film, Moriarty is using the League for his own ulterior intentions, to jump-start a world war and cash in on the profits war brings. In addition, the movie includes Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer as major characters; in the original, they only appear as portraits in the gallery at M15, having worked for the government in the past. Quartermain dies in the movie, although he does not in the graphic novels—yet this change had more to do with actor Sean Connery’s negative experience on the set (he has not done a film since) and his refusal to act in any sequels.

WORKS CITED
Anonymous. Eighty Days in Captivity. Ed. Michael Hemmingson. New York: Blue Moon, 2005.
Moore, Alan. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics/Titan Books, 1987.
─────. From Hell. Amherst, MA: Kitchen Sink, 1998.
Moore, Alan, and O’Neil, Kevin. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Vol. 1. La Jolla, CA: America’s Best Comics, 2001.
─────. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 2. La Jolla, CA: America’s Best Comics, 2003.
─────. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier. La Jolla, CA: America’s Best Comics, 2003.
Tantimedh, Adi. “Alan Moore: Inside ‘The Black Dossier.’” CBR News, nd.  27 April 2009 <http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=11958>.
Wolfman, Marc. Crisis on Infinite Earths. #1-12. New York: DC Comics, 1986.
Wonder Woman Vol. 1, No. 59. New York: DC Comics, 1953.


Things That Were to Come. As a footnote to my review-essay on retrofuturism in the current issue, I’d like to report on an April 18 screening of William Cameron Menzies’s classic 1936 film Things to Come at the Egyptian Theater, a swanky Twenties-era movie house in Hollywood. Hosted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, the event had a distinctly retrofuturist flavor: it was preceded by a multimedia lecture by Walter Nelson entitled “Dr. Zarkov, Ask the Robot to Fetch My Zeppelin,” which highlighted visions of the future from the 1920s and 1930s that now seem largely quaint, from the airship fantasies of the early pulps to the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. Clips from the latter, sponsored by a serenely self-confident General Motors, drew mordant chuckles from the crowd due to the shaky state of that company today. Nelson’s talk generally struck a tone of ironic bemusement at the credulity of bygone futures; the scenes he showed from Just Imagine (1930), an sf musical (!) about a dirigible-crazy 1980 featuring characters with names like J21 and RT42, had the audience in stitches. (Nelson is the son of southern Californian sf author Ray Faraday Nelson, Philip K. Dick’s erstwhile collaborator and acid-dropping buddy.) The laughs died out as the no-nonsense Things to Come lumbered across the screen, its modest camp value undercut by H.G. Wells’s super-serious script and Raymond Massey’s scowling pomposity. Menzies’s remarkable sets, and the strong production values of Alexander Korda, clearly inspired admiration in the audience, though more than a few folks filtered out before the film was over. Which leads to a pressing question: what becomes of yesterday’s tomorrows when they’re no longer good even for a laugh?—Rob Latham, SFS

“Fondo Suvin” Announcement. Darko Suvin’s library, around 12,000-13,000 “bibliographical units”—mainly volumes of books and periodicals, but lots of folders full of photocopies from books and articles, playbills, etc., and also his voluminous “public” correspondence (including coeditorship of Science-Fiction Studies, 1973-81), private correspondence, and personal documents, has been deeded to the State University of Milano, Italy. The university archive “Fondo APICE” is taking the rounded-off holdings, consisting of: 1. SF and Utopia/nism, 2. Drama and Theatre, 3. Biographica. All else, the general literature and culture holdings, will be in the Biblioteca del Polo di Mediazione Interculturale e Comunicazione in a northern suburb of Milano.                

The contract, signed on March 11, 2008, specifies that the holdings will be sent in three installments, of which the first has been already delivered. The second is due by 2015 and the third after DS’s death. Most important, all items will be traceable in the virtual form of an online catalogue, called “Fondo Suvin,” within the catalogue of the Università Statale di Milano. The contract says the catalogue should be online “within 2 years of delivery of each installment.” —Darko Suvin, Italy

Science Fiction Research Association Awards. I am pleased to announce the 2008 SFRA award winners. The Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions to scence fiction and fantasy scholarship goes to Brian Attebery and the Pioneer Award for the best critical essay-length work of the year goes to Neil Easterbrook for “Giving An Account of Oneself: Ethics, Alterity, Air” (Extrapolation 49.2 [Summer 2008]: 240-60). The Clareson Award for Distinguished Service goes to Hal Hall; the Mary Kay Bray Award for the best essay, interview, or extended review to appear in the SFRA Review in the past year goes to Sandor Klapcsik for his review of Rewired (SFRAR #284); and the Graduate Student Paper Award for the best essay presented at the 2008 SFRA conference has been given to David Higgins for “The Imperial Unconscious: Samuel R. Delany’s The Fall of the Towers.”—Lisa Yaszek, President, SFRA


Eds: Our warmest congratulations to the fine roster of award recipients for 2008, including two invaluable members of the SFS Editorial Board.

Mullen Research Fellowships Awarded. Science Fiction Studies has endowed a fund in the name of our founding editor to support graduate students doing research in the Eaton Collection at the Library of the University of California, Riverside. A five-person selection committee, chaired by me, evaluated an excellent pool of applicants from the US, Canada, and Australia who represented a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The 2009-10 Mullen Fellows are:

Jason Bourget, a PhD student in English literature at Queen’s University in Canada, whose dissertation examines representations of masculinity in late-twentieth-century sf. His essay “Biological Determinism, Masculine Politics, and the Failure of Libertarianism in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” is forthcoming in Foundation. He plans to work in the Eaton’s extensive fanzine archive, where he will study the reaction of the sf community to radical representations of masculinity in New Wave texts of the 1960s and 1970s.

Elizabeth Berkebile McManus, a PhD student in the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University, whose 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 will be accessing 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, a PhD student in English at the University of Iowa, focuses on representations of racial identity in modern American sf. An essay on Battlestar Galactica, “Race, Robots, and the Law,” was recently published in the anthology New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction. She will spend two weeks in the Eaton’s fanzine archive studying the history of Carl Brandon, a fictional black fan invented by Terry Carr in the 1950s, and James Fitzgerald, the African-American founder of the Sciencers, a 1930s fan group.

I congratulate the winners and thank my excellent committee, consisting of Andrea Bell, Neil Easterbrook, Veronica Hollinger, and Brooks Landon; working with them has been a delight. I am also grateful to the University of California, Riverside, and especially to the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Steve Cullenberg, for building a supportive structure for sf scholarship in which opportunities like this can flourish. And, of course, I am very thankful to Science Fiction Studies and especially this award’s namesake, Dale Mullen, who was one of the most gracious and disciplined scholars the field has ever known. It is a pleasure to honor his legacy with this award.—Rob Latham, SFS


2009 SFS Symposium/Eaton Conference. I am still recovering from borderline exhaustion, but I want to submit a brief report on the recent events here at University of California, Riverside before the deadline for the July issue passes. On Thursday, April 30, the first annual Science Fiction Studies Symposium was held in the reading room of UCR library’s Special Collections Department. Entitled “The Histories of Science Fiction,” the forum addressed theoretical issues and practical problems involved in the historiography of sf: Roger Luckhurst’s talk, “Science Fiction and Cultural History: Lines, Pyramids, Networks, Rhizomes,” discussed the shift from a model of literary history based on linearity and hierarchization to a more dispersed and decentered form; De Witt Douglas Kilgore’s “Aliens, Robots, and Other Racial Matters in the History of Science Fiction” reflected on the dynamics of inclusion/exclusion and the influence of racial discourses in the narration of sf’s history; and Veronica Hollinger’s “A History of the Future” sketched out a series of prospective trajectories for sf in light of the imminence (and epochal rupture) of the posthuman singularity. Roughly 80 people attended, and the conversation following the talks was provocative and lively. SFS is currently arranging to publish the three talks as a special section in 2010.                

The SFS Symposium served as the prelude for the 2009 Eaton Science Fiction Conference, held May 1-3 at the UCR Extension Center. Co-sponsored by the North American Jules Verne Society (represented at the event by the witty and amiable Jean-Michel Margot), the conference focused on the topic “Extraordinary Voyages: Jules Verne and Beyond” and featured three plenary lectures (by John Rieder, Walter James Miller, and Marie-Hélène Huet), five panel discussions (on The Emergence of Modern SF; The Two Jules Vernes; Extraordinary Revision, Repetition, and Pastiche; Collecting Verne; and Steampunk and Extraordinary Voyages), and twelve paper sessions. All the events were well attended, with the audience peaking at over 100 during Saturday afternoon’s awards ceremony, which included the bestowal of the R.D. Mullen Research Fellowships (see note above), the student short story awards (presented by Sheila Finch), and the second annual Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award (given to Frederik Pohl). An illness prevented Pohl from attending, but he recorded a warm and funny acceptance speech that was screened for the assembly. Sf authors who did participate in the weekend’s events included Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Howard Hendrix, Tim Powers, and Rudy Rucker. By general consent, the level of discussion sustained over the three days was remarkably high, and the conference organizers (Terry Harpold, George Slusser, and myself) are pursuing the possibility of publishing the proceedings in a new online journal, Verniana: Jules Verne Studies / Études Jules Verne (<www.verniana. org>). Anyone who went into the weekend thinking Verne was just a quaint children’s author came away with a deeper appreciation for his literary skill, his political acumen, his sophisticated humor, his engagement with scientific discourses, and his importance for subsequent sf.               

During Saturday’s Eaton session, Dean Stephen Cullenberg of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences announced that UCR would, over the next two years, be hiring two more faculty who specialize in science fiction: an sf author in the Department of Creative Writing and an sf film theorist in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies. Certainly, sf scholarship is flourishing here: the Spring quarter was rung in with a talk by Carl Freedman, “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir,” and will be rung out by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., with his talk “Help Me! A Short History of Science Fiction in Music.” Right now, in fact, I have to run to finish making arrangements for a lecture by N. Katherine Hayles, entitled “Vernor Vinge’s Rainbow’s End and the Macropolitics of Global Spatialization.” Whew!—Rob Latham, SFS


Call for Proposals: SFRA Travel Grants. While deadlines for 2009 have passed, the Science Fiction Research Association reminds members that travel grants are available to help with the expense of attending its annual conference. Maximum awards of $300 may be given. All current SFRA members are eligible to apply. Grants will be presented at the conference that the recipients are funded to attend.                

Proposals should include: 1. a cover page that gives the name of the applicant (do not identify yourself or your institution in the rest of the proposal), mailing address, email address, phone number, and distance from the conference. Mention whether you are willing to accept partial funding. 2. Include a proposal of no more than 500 words, which should explain the financial difficulty you face and should also summarize the topic of your presentation, the professional growth made possible by your attendance, and your plan to publish the results of attending the conference. 3. A realistic, detailed budget should be included on a separate page. Any alternative funding resources already applied for and/or received should be listed.                

The following criteria will be used in the blind reviews of proposals: financial need, distance (i.e., whether the applicant will have to travel far in order to attend), the quality and originality of the proposed paper, the professional growth made possible by the grant, budget costs that are reasonable, evidence that the applicant has sought funding elsewhere, and dollars available for the program. SFRA will attempt to award as many travel grants as possible while remaining fiscally responsible. Members may not submit more than one proposal per year. Priority will go to those who have not received an award in the last three years. Award recipients will be expected to present a paper at the SFRA conference that they are being funded to attend, to submit the resulting article to the SFRA Review, Science Fiction Studies, or Extrapolation for first consideration, and to send a written report of one to two pages to the Secretary of the SFRA Board by the September 30 following the SFRA conference. Any questions should be directed to the SFRA Secretary, Shelley Rodrigo, at <shelley.rodrigo@ gmail.com>. Proposals should be submitted as Rich Text File attachments to the same email address. Deadline: March 15 prior to the conference. Winners will be notified by April 30 prior to the conference.—Shelley Rodrigo, Mesa Community College, SFRA Secretary

Sirens: Women in Fantasy Literature. The June deadline for proposed papers will have passed by the time readers of SFS see this item, but some might be interested in attending. Sirens is an academic conference and networking retreat focused on women in fantasy literature. The conference will bring together scholars, authors, industry professionals, and readers to discuss fantasy genre fiction by and for women, female characters in fantasy works, and related topics. Guests of honor include Tamora Pierce, Sherwood Smith, and debut author Kristin Cashore. Sirens will take place October 1-4, 2009, in Vail, Colorado. The conference weekend will feature papers, panels, workshops, and roundtables. There is no minimum degree requirement to submit a program proposal: undergraduates and Ph.Ds alike are welcome. Those with any questions should contact me at <programming@sirensconference.org> or consult our website: <http://www.sirensconference.org>. Sirens is presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc., an educational 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing together diverse groups to share their knowledge, skills, and perspectives. We feel strongly that authors, readers, teachers, librarians, publishing industry professionals, and others have a wealth of knowledge to share. Our programming will highlight scholarship and discussion. In addition to the programming offered by conference attendees, our Guests of Honor will present a series of keynote speeches. A preliminary conference schedule is now posted on the website.—Jessica Moore, Programming Coordinator, Sirens


CFP: H.G. Wells: From Kent to Cosmopolis. The University of Kent (Canterbury, England) will host a conference on H.G. Wells from July 9-11, 2010. The international conference marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the H.G. Wells Society in 1960. We shall examine Wells both as a novelist formed by local circumstances of his time and place and as a thinker and social prophet who remains intensely relevant today. We aim to discuss Wells’s links to modern science fiction in all media, his imagining of worlds to come, his political, social, and ecological expectations for the twenty-first century, and his success, then and now, as an artist and controversialist. In keeping with the conference title, “From Kent to Cosmopolis,” we hope to attract contributions that relate the local to the universal in his writings and/or look at Wells’s achievements in relation to wider cultural, historical, temporal, and spatial perspectives. 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers should be sent by March 1, 2010 to Andrew M. Butler and Patrick Parrinder at <2010wellsconference @gmail.com>. For registration information, contact the Hon. Treasurer of the H.G. Wells Society, Paul Allen, at <PaulMalcolmAllen@ aol.com>.—Patrick Parrinder, University of Reading


SF Storyworlds: New Series. SF Storyworlds is a new critical studies series in science fiction published by the UK-based press Gylphi. Our aim is to explore the development of the genre and its impact on contemporary culture. We are interested in rethinking sf’s relationship to different media, to critical theory, and to translation studies, including sf from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Genre is itself a central question (for example, in the work of M. John Harrison, China Miéville, or Tricia Sullivan) as an indicator of current and future directions. Possible themes might include (but are not limited to) sf studies and interdisciplinarity; Anglo-American sf in the context of world literature; sf and political criticism; sf in literature, film, and other visual/digital media; women and sf; race and sexuality in sf; and new, post-cyberpunk paradigms in sf. We welcome monographs, single-author studies, and essay collections, including projects based on conference proceedings, in keeping with the series aims. Proposals can be emailed to P.A.March-Russell@kent.ac.uk or posted to Dr Paul March-Russell, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF, England, UK. Further details about the series, including information about our editorial board (which includes Sherryl Vint, Andrew Butler, and Rob Latham) can be found at our website: <http://sf.gylphi. co.uk>.—Paul March-Russell, University of Kent, Canterbury


CFP: Crossroads 2010, Hong Kong. The Eighth Crossroads conference in cultural studies will be held in Hong Kong from June 17-20, 2010. Hosted by Lingnan University and organized by its Department of Cultural Studies and Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme, this is the first Crossroads Conference to be held in East Asia. The conference is open to all topics related to cultural studies, but the proposed area of emphasis likeliest to interest readers of SFS is Utopia/Dystopia. Andrew Ross and Anne Balsamo are among the plenary speakers. The call for session proposals is already in progress; deadline for all proposals is December 31, 2009. Following the guidelines posted on the conference website, send proposals to the Conference Academic Programme Sub-committee at <xroads@LN.edu.hk>.— Professor Meaghan Morris, Dept of Cultural Studies and KFCRD Programme, Lingnan University


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