Academic program revealed for world science fiction convention

Diversity in Speculative Fiction: Loncon 3 launches academic program

Press release – world science fiction convention

Scholars from more than 50 institutions across five continents are coming to Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention taking place at ExCeL London during 14-18 August, to share their cutting-edge research on a full range of topics related to science fiction and fantasy.

“Diversity in Speculative Fiction” is an academic conference running within the broader Loncon 3 convention programme featuring more than 40 hours of talks and discussions about literature, comics, games, film, television, music and fan culture.

Emma England, Academic Programme Area Head, said: “London is traditionally protected by the giants Gog and Magog, demonstrating how the fantastic is part of its 2,000 year history. We will be exploring the alleys and A-roads of the city, where science fiction, fantasy, and all forms of speculative fiction can be found.”

As well as a joint session with Loncon 3 Guest of Honour John Clute, the Tolkien Society and the British Science Fiction Association are each hosting a session, and the Science Fiction Foundation are sponsoring a public reception. There are also two keynote speakers – Professor Isabella van Elferen of Kingston University with “In Space No One Can Hear David Bowie: A Brief History of Unheard Music” and independent scholar Dr Karen Hellekson on“Affirmational and Transformational Doctor Who Fan Videos”. The conference papers will be collected in a special issue of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction.

Other conference highlights include:

  • Prof Richard Ashcroft, Queen Mary University of London: “Weird Science, Weird Ethics: Biotechnology and Human Enhancement: The Lens of M. John Harrison’s Signs of Life
  • Dr Bettina Beinhoff, Anglia Ruskin University: “Why Are Alien Languages Inherently Human? A Participatory Experiment in Sound Symbolism” (a live language experiment with audience participation, followed by a talk)
  • Dr Anita Harris Satkunananthan, National University of Malaysia: “Vampires, Hierarchies and Alternate Futures: Alaya Dawn Johnson’s Re-envisioned Cultures”
  • Dr Ewan Kirkland, University of Brighton: “Monogamy, Heteronormativity and Compulsory Heterosexuality in Recent Science Fiction Cinema”
  • Stanislaw Krawczyk, Graduate Student, University of Warsaw: “The Strange Case of Socialism and Capitalism: Fantastic Literature in Poland in the 1980s and 1990s”
  • Dr Lejla Kucukalic, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE: “Arabian Wonder: Science Fiction in the Middle East”
  • Dr Amy Sturgis, Lenoir-Rhyne University and the Mythgard Institute: “Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction”
  • Dr Dan Smith, Chelsea College of Arts, University of London: “Science Fiction and Outsider Art”

Full details of how to become a member of Loncon 3 are available at
http://www.loncon3.org/memberships/