Hieroglyph Book: September 9

Hieroglyph Book: September 9

Check out our anthology of techno-optimistic science fiction and fact, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, published by HarperCollins.

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  • Stage the Future 2: The Second International Conference on Science Fiction Theatre

    Stage the Future 2: The Second International Conference on Science Fiction Theatre

    Sponsored by ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Call for papers: submissions due by January 15,…

    Stage the Future 2: The Second International Conference on Science Fiction Theatre

    Sponsored by ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

    Call for papers: submissions due by January 15, 2015 to stagethefuture@gmail.com – see below for submission guidelines

    Following a successful first conference in the UK, Stage the Future 2 invites abstract submissions for the second annual international science fiction theatre conference to be hosted at Arizona State University on March 6-7, 2015. We welcome papers, panels, and performances that examine and explore the unique attributes live performance offers to science fiction and those that science fiction offers to live performance.

    Science fiction theatre has been steadily emerging and growing into a diverse and global community of artists – from the Science Fiction Theatre Company of Boston, Gideon Productions, OtherWorld and the Vampire Cowboys Theatre in the US to Superbolt, WholeHog, and Stars or Mars in the UK, as well as the annual Sci-Fest theatre festival in Los Angeles – who recognize that the stage has singular qualities, different from literature and film, for engaging the technical and scientific advancements of our modern age.

    The stage can offer wholly unique and original experiences of science fiction that move beyond the boundaries of other mediums. As Susan Sontag has suggested, science fiction literature and film are frequently viewed as two halves of a binary, wherein novels are structured around the intellectual intricacies of hard science, while film provides the viewer with the sensory experience of “science.” Theatre, however, is a platform for both intellectual and sensual elaborations that can transcend such binaries. In this spirit, we call for artists, scholars, critics, and scientists to share ideas on how science fiction theatre may better explore the complexities and contradictions of contemporary scientific practice, particularly in the context of STEM education, sustainable innovation, gender and racial equality, and rational engagement with religion and experiences of the metaphysical.

    In addition to traditional notions of theatre, we welcome diverse views on not just what is considered science fiction, but also what can be considered theatrical engagement with science fiction. Dancers, digital and social media artists, and musicians are equally encouraged to present material that engages science fiction themes for live audiences that are either physically or tele-present.

    The conference welcomes proposals for presentations, roundtables and performances from any discipline and theoretical perspective. Please send a title and a 300 word abstract (as a Word document) for a 20 minute paper or a performance, along with your name, affiliation, and 100 word biography, to stagethefuture@gmail.com by January 15, 2015.

    Topics might include but are not limited to:

    –Future and alternate histories
    –Utopias, dystopias, political SF theatre
    –Non-human and post-human characters
    –Steampunk, cyberpunk, and other -punks on stage
    –Space opera and science fiction opera
    –Apocalypse and post-apocalyptic societies
    –Genetic engineering, cyborgs, clones, A.I.
    –Ecological science fiction
    –Science fiction and dance
    –Menippean satire
    –Planetary romance
    –Adapting science fiction
    –Contemporary fantasy and horror theatres

    Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication.

    The conference is organized by: Christos Callow, PhD candidate, Birkbeck, University of London; Susan Gray, PhD candidate, Royal Holloway, University of London; Boyd Branch, Visiting Assistant Professor, Arizona State University; Carol Stewart, PhD candidate and Instructor, Bellarmine University; Lance Gharavi, Associate Professor, Arizona State University; and Carrie J. Cole, Assistant Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

  • Exciting Spring 2015 Courses at ASU English: Frankenstein and Jane Austen

    Exciting Spring 2015 Courses at ASU English: Frankenstein and Jane Austen

    This piece is written by Luu Nguyen, and was originally published at ASU News. One of CSI’s major upcoming projects is the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, which will…

    Exciting Spring 2015 Courses at ASU English: Frankenstein and Jane Austen

    This piece is written by Luu Nguyen, and was originally published at ASU News. One of CSI’s major upcoming projects is the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, which will organize a broad range of activities to celebrate the bicentennial of the writing and publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from 2016-2018. 

    Dubbing the mash-up “Beauty and the Beast,” the Arizona State University’s Department of English presents two separately offered spring 2015 hybrid courses – one on Frankenstein and the other on Jane Austen – in the same time slot, to help students make the most of their packed schedules.

    Both literature-based offerings meet from 9 to 10:15 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, alternating in-class and hybrid days. Students may take just one course or both.

    “Frankenstein and Its Others” (ENG 401) is taught by Mark Lussier, professor and chair of the English department. His course meets in person on Thursdays and online on Tuesdays. Students will delve into not only the written works about this “hideous progeny,” but will uncover how the Frankenstein novels influenced classic cinema as well.

    Texts to be explored include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (which inspired many others), as well as Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jeykyll and Mr. Hyde and H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. Film adaptions of these works include Gothic (1986), Blade Runner (1982) and Frankenstein Unbound (1990), among others.

    In celebration of the upcoming Frankenstein bicentennial (1818-2018), this class is a unique starting point for the university’s bicentennial project, exploring the intersection of science and literature to bring the creature alive once more.

    “Jane Austen (Women & Literature)” (ENG 364) introduces all things Jane Austen in an unusual team-taught structure, meeting in person on Tuesdays and online on Thursdays. The course, jokingly described as “married couple argues about Austen and tries to teach you something in the process,” is instructed by Austen scholars Devoney Looser and George Justice, who are husband and wife. They are both professors of English; Justice also serves as dean of Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    Texts to be discussed include Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion and shorter works, including her raucous juvenilia. The course will explore Austen’s humor, irony and social criticism, looking at the ways she’s been used in popular culture.

    In answering the questions, “Why is Jane Austen so popular?” and “Is she just the author of ‘chick lit,’ best served up with zombies or vampires?” the course dissects historical and contemporary Jane Austen fandom. Looser and Justice hope that students come away with knowledge about Austen and about how reading her can inform new understandings of literature, love and life.

    Interested students may visit the Department of English’s website for enrollment information.