This year's Campbell Conference topic is "Teaching Science Fiction," and you can check the SFRA website for details about their topic and plans. We will also include a talk about Jack Williamson led by James Gunn and other long-time friends of Williamson.
The annual SFRA meeting brings science fiction and fantasy writers, scholars, critics, enthusiasts, and a guest of honor together for four thought-provoking days. Whether as members or guests, attendees are encouraged to present papers, discuss common interests, and share knowledge and perspectives in a relaxed, informal environment. We'll post updates about guests and events on our websites and soon!
This year we also plan to offer a special seminar, "Teaching Science Fiction," led by a distinguished SF teacher and author. Because we are collaborating with SFRA for this event, SF teachers will have a great opportunity to learn about methods and pedagogy by attending presentations and talking with other attendees. More details to come!
From Adam Frisch, SFRA President — November 15, 2007
Your SFRA Executive Committee has accepted the gracious invitation of the Campbell Conference to hold our 2008 annual meeting in conjunction with them on July 10-13 (Thurs. through Sun.) at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.
The Campbell Conference is the concluding event of the Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, the Novel Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, and the beginning of the Intensive English Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction. It has been held regularly at the University of Kansas since 1973, except for the special joint event in 2007 with SFRA and the Heinlein Centennial. This year our two organizations will be working together at a common site to provide quality academic panels, paper presentations and author discussions. During the coming weeks SFRA will be posting details about our part of the conference on this list-serve and on our website (www.sfra.org); also check out the Campbell Conference webpage.
Currently, SFRA’s tentative theme for this 2008 meeting is: "Teaching, Reading and Creating Science Fiction," which meshes well with both the Campbell Conference’s themes of "Teaching Science Fiction" plus "Current Trends in Science Fiction" and our own previously announced Dublin theme of "Good Writing in SF." "Creating SF" also encourages panels and paper analyzes of SF in non-literary media, a recent extension of SFRA’s traditional focuses that we have been encouraging. This announced theme sacrifices a certain amount of excitement for major inclusivity - it’s difficult for me at the moment to imagine what SF type of material it excludes - and thus it may be slightly tweaked when we designate our academic programmer for this conference. But when that person is appointed shortly, rush right in with whatever sort of presentation you may have been planning for Dublin, or come up with a new one!
Lawrence, Kansas, lies about 50 miles west of the Kansas City International airport. SFRA plans to work during the coming months to insure smooth and convenient transportation between Kansas City and Lawrence. Lodging promises to be very reasonable, as will be the conference registration fee at this new venue and the cost for whatever banquet / reception we hold. (And don’t forget that SFRA will be offering to the extent it can some travel remuneration for graduate students reading papers, especially overseas students who had planned on attending in Dublin.) SFRA will soon announce its guest list of invited SF authors and critics, and the Campbell Conference traditionally hosts local authors, institute instructors and the winners of the John W. Campbell and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards. The eventual list of SF authors for this combined event promises to be absolutely awesome, as my students would say.
Finally, the University of Kansas has always been an exciting college town to visit, even when its football teams were losing almost every game, and it’s the site of our SFRA archives for any workaholics out there.
SFRA hosted its annual convention in Lawrence in 1982, and absolutely everyone I’ve talked to remembers that 1982 meeting with fondness. 2008 promises to be even better! I sure hope most of you will find a way to come. We’ll lift a toast together to the Dublin conference that almost was, and celebrate the fine Lawrence conference that is happening.
See you this summer!