From the President
It’s hard to believe that I’m writing my first SFRA President’s column. I attended my first SFRA conference in 2015 at Stony Brook. It alternately seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago. It was a career-changing experience; the people I met there became mentors, collaborators, and friends, and I finally understood what others meant when they talked about their “academic communities.” Over the last couple of years, the SFRA’s executive board have been making changes both large and small to make sure that this sort of experience is the norm for all our members. I’m looking forward to serving as President and continuing this work with them.
Speaking of service, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our outgoing E-Board members: Sean Guynes, Keren Omry, and Gerry Canavan. Along with serving as Secretary from 2020-2022, Sean was editor of the SFRA Review from 2018-21 and helped institute many of its innovative transformations. Keren has served in a great number of roles, most recently as Immediate Past President, providing institutional memory, continuity, and advise to the Executive Board, and before that as President, and before that cycling through just about every award committee. Seriously, many, many thanks, Keren! Finally, I want to acknowledge our outgoing President, Gerry Canavan, who had the unenviable task of steering the SFRA through one of its most tumultuous periods: dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, cancelled conferences, and the move to online and hybrid conferences, alongside all the other usual tasks. Before he escapes entirely, he’ll be serving as the Immediate Past President for the next three years (just when he thought he was out… we pull him back in!).
Keeping the ball rolling, I’d like to thank our continuing E-Board members, Ida Yoshinaga (VP), Tim Murphy (Treasurer), Thomas Connolly (Webmaster), and Aisha Matthews (Conference Committee), as well as welcome our incoming members, Sarah Lohmann (Secretary), and our first ever At-Large members, Helane Androne and Gabriela Alejandra Lee. And for those out there who would like to get more involved with the SFRA and add their names to this illustrious list of volunteers, watch out for a forthcoming call for the new Outreach officer position.
Looking ahead, we’re all very excited for the upcoming “Disrupted Imaginations” joint SFRA and German Association for Research in the Fantastic (GfF) conference in Dresden, Germany (August 15-19, 2023). The CFP is currently circulating and can be found on the SFRA website. This is a great opportunity for the SFRA to continue building upon its international outreach efforts and to forge greater ties with the GfF. As a reminder, SFRA members are eligible to apply for travel grants of up to $500.
Finally, we know that there have been a couple of issues with the new website. We are working on getting these resolved, and we thank you for your patience as we continue down the WordPress rabbit hole. In the meantime, if you encounter any problems, please continue to reach out to us.