Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize Announced

UC Riverside award recognizes exceptional contributions to the field

logoRIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies (SFTS) program at the University of California, Riverside announces that the second annual SFTS book award has been won by David Wittenberg, professor of English, comparative literature, and cinematic arts at the University of Iowa, for “Time Travel: The Popular Philosophy of Narrative” (Fordham UP, 2013).

The prize honors an outstanding scholarly monograph that explores the intersections between popular culture, particularly science fiction, and the discourses and cultures of technoscience. The award is designed to recognize groundbreaking and exceptional contributions to the field. Books published in English between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013, were eligible for the award.

Wittenberg’s book argues that time travel fiction “is a laboratory in which the most fundamental theoretical questions of narratology, history, and subjectivity are rehearsed,” said Sherryl Vint, co-director of the SFTS program and jury chair. “It is discerning in its critical insights, disciplined in its case studies, and broadly inclusive across media in its examples. ‘Time Travel’ shows Wittenberg to be one of the most astute among contemporary sf critics.”

Jury members were Vint, Anindita Bannerjee of Cornell University, and Pawel Frelik of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland.

Honorable mentions were awarded to Joshua Raulerson for “Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the Twenty-First Century” (Liverpool University Press), and Kevin LaGrandeur for “Androids and Intelligent Networks in Early Modern Literature and Culture” (Routledge).

The award, which consists of a cash prize, was presented in May at the 2014 SFRA/WisCon Conference, which was held in Madison, Wis.

The Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program at UCR launched in 2008. It offers a designated emphasis at the Ph.D. level and soon will offer an undergraduate minor. The curriculum encompasses courses in the social study of science and medicine, the history of technology, creative expression addressing relevant themes, cultural analysis of print and media texts dealing with science and technology, and the cultural differences in technology, including non-western scientific practices.

The SFTS program regularly holds symposia and panels and hosts invited scholars and visitors. For more information or to be added to the SFTS event listserv, please visit

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Sherryl Vint

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