UC Riverside to Host Science Fiction Research Association Conference

“Unknown Pasts / Unseen Future” conference runs from June 28 to July 1

UC Riverside will host the 2017 Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) conference.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – The University of California, Riverside will host the 2017 Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) conference on Wednesday, June 28 to Saturday, July 1. This year’s conference theme is “Unknown Pasts / Unseen Futures.”

Home to the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy, UCR also runs the Speculative Fictions and Cultures of Science graduate program, and has a robust research community focused on speculative fiction across media.

“We are absolutely delighted that UCR is hosting the SFRA 2017 conference,” said Alison Scott, associate University Librarian for Collections & Scholarly Communication. “Bringing scholars, students, and creative artists to campus is such a great opportunity for shared learning and engagement. We’re thrilled.”

Sherryl Vint, the director of Speculative Fiction and Cultures of Science, said UCR’s collaboration with SFRA is in part thanks to the backing of UCR Library and the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS), with a significant amount of funding and staff support made available by CHASS Dean Milagros Peña.

“Without Dean Peña’s support, we wouldn’t even have started down the path of having a conference,” said Vint.

JJ Jacobson, UCR Library’s inaugural Jay Kay and Doris Klein Librarian for Science Fiction, will be on one of the SFRA conference panels. Her discussion is about the dialogue between researchers and curators.

“We’ll be talking with two UCR graduate students – one current, one prior – who have done research in the Eaton Collection,” Jacobson said. “We’ll talk about their experience and how researchers and librarians can work together, what constitutes librarians’ work and what constitutes researchers’ work.”

According to SFRA, the “Unknown Pasts / Unseen Future” theme grows out of its 2016 conference, which was centered on the history of science fiction that has yet to be sufficiently addressed in scholarship, including marginalized or otherwise neglected bodies of work. The conference theme also reflects UCR’s commitment to science fiction scholarship, which is focused on imagining and creating sustainable and inclusive futures. The focus is equally on new voices in the field and the new kinds of futures that emerge from this broader sense.

Founded in 1970, SFRA is the oldest professional association dedicated to the scholarly inquiry into science fiction. The association works to improve classroom teaching; encourage and assist scholarship; and to evaluate and publicize new books and magazines dealing with fantastic literature and film, and teaching methods and materials.

Those interested in attending the conference can still register online. As an additional perk, the Eaton Collection will grant access to conference attendees only from June 26 to 28, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The 2017 SFRA conference will be held at the Marriott Riverside, 3400 Market Street. For the full conference program, panel list, information on travel and accommodation, and more, visit the SFRA conference website.

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