From the SFRA Executive Committee
From the Vice President
Michigan State University
Our first virtual conference was a success and attracted a greater number of participants than usual including more international representation!! Many thanks to the virtual conference host Graham Murphy and his institution Seneca College in Toronto, Canada!! Thank you too to Keren Omry who put the program together as well as Gerry Canavan, Sean Guynes, Hugh O’Connell who helped to run the conference and Carma Spence for the program art. The keynote speakers, many high-quality presentations, discussions, and hang-outs prompted by the conference theme—“The Future As/In Inequality”—made it especially memorable. Thank you to everyone who patiently navigated the technology as the conference progressed. Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2020 and the 2021 Awards!! We were finally able to congratulate both years. We especially want to thank the guests and participants who engaged with intentionality and candor in the special events surrounding race, bias, equity, and belonging both in the organization and in the broader academy. The Executive Committee has already engaged in meetings to follow-up on some of the resulting ideas from these sessions. More information will be forthcoming soon. The next conference in summer 2022 will be hosted by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay of the Blindern Campus at the University of Oslo in Oslo, Norway. This will most likely also be a virtual conference given the continued challenges across the globe as a result of the pandemic. It should be a very compelling event, so look for more information as it comes available.
The SFRA Country Representatives have met twice this year and are planning the next virtual meeting in early September. This initiative was organized in an effort to encourage support for the study of science fiction globally and also to help these scholars network with each other. Responsibilities include acting as an informational liaison between the SFRA and the country’s science fiction scholarly community through the promotion of events, new membership outreach, and otherwise helping to connect in the spirit of international communication and collaboration. It is possible for a country to have more than one liaison. All country representatives must be current members of the SFRA. If you would like to contact your representative with ideas or for more information, you can find their name on the website at http://www.sfra.org/Country-Reps. They represent seventeen different countries. Country reps are also contributing to each issue of the SFRA News, so look for that essay in these pages. If you are interested in being a country representative, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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