Statements from Candidates for SFRA Offices


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA Executive Committee


Statements from Candidates for SFRA Offices

Keren Omry
University of Haifa


Below, please find the statements from the candidates for two Executive Committee positions that are open this year: Vice President and Treasurer. Each successful candidate is expected to serve for a three-year term. Please read and consider the candidates’ statements and, when we open our online voting page in early October, cast your vote.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to everyone for their willingness to run for office. Like all volunteer organizations, we depend entirely on our members’ efforts. While being an SFRA officer may look glamorous on paper, it is also a commitment of time and attention in the service of others. We should always remember this and acknowledge their participation – thank you Ida, Jessica, Lars, and Tim!

VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Ida Yoshinaga

I am a non-traditional scholar and producer who works between the fields of transmedia narrative theory and production studies. I got my Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i Department of English’s Creative Writing Program, after decades of being in and out of graduate school across several disciplines. In that time, I had helped mainstream scholars become effective classroom instructors from my staff labor at college teaching centers, and also served as an adjunct instructor in diverse higher-education institutions (teaching, among other subjects, race/class/gender in popular culture, women and work, screenwriting, sf/f short fiction writing, and the history of the Hollywood screenplay). As a researcher, I have been writing about the management-labor relations that create politically fruitful dynamics between corporate professionals and Indigenous (usually diasporic) workers as members of the latter class deploy cultural forms of sf/f as an expression of their labor value. For instance, between show creator Ray Bradbury and Maori director Lee Tamahori on The Ray Bradbury Theater series of the early cable era; between the Walt Disney Company’s Moana story trust of largely U.S.-raised animation managers and the Oceanic Story Trust of Indigenous Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian cultural consultants; between indie darling writer-director Cameron Crowe and Kanaka Maoli sovereignty activist Bumpy Kanahele during the production of the film Aloha; and between Iranian American showrunner Nahnatchka Khan and her team of mostly East Asian American and European American writer-producers and the Pacific Islander and Black cast on the prime-time network series Young Rock. In these case studies, science fictionality becomes a hybrid modality, a sign of creative innovation, a momentary way to signal one’s imagination and talents. Not a reified genre (as in the “Science! Fiction!” which we have all definitionally debated over), nor approached with a whole-text sensibility. As an alternative and ethnic media scholar interested in DEIB issues during the development of sf film, TV and transmedia narrative, I research the use of this genre as a business practice, viewing science fiction as an orientation, a cultural form of media expression and a praxis involving workplace agency (or resistance) and individual creative labor.

I regard the SFRA as an intellectually excellent North American scholarly organization for sf studies which aims to be global, innovative and diverse at this point in its history.  As such, I am interested in experimental recruitment strategies that make us appear welcoming to minority groups. Such as (for example): a 2-year free trial memberships for BIPOC or Indigenous scholars; immediate commitment to sponsoring events that center around non-binary and genderfluid (etc.) topics (perhaps beginning with a much-needed LGBTQ+ themed national conference); and outside-the-box, digitally powered, sustained tactics to help our ABDs, recent Ph.D.s and adjuncts find meaningful employment worthy of their intellect and academic training. The COVID-19 era has gotten academia to rely upon live digital communication to run its professional meetings; we can take that one step further and ask how such technologies might help us overcome longstanding class barriers, disability issues and other unequal byproducts of the creaky outdated conference system, as we reboot for the new era.  Finally, how do we reinject our field, riven with a perhaps too-aware sense of the climate apocalypse and other ongoing neoliberal crises, with a sense of wonder and refresh our imaginaries so as to continue to help students and colleagues make their way into the future with resilient hope and resistant grit?

Excited about starting these types of conversations with everyone!

Lars Schmeink

I wanted to start this message with a snappy quote, a motto, or a quip. Thinking about my time with the SFRA, my scholarship (and career) over the last few years and maybe even the very strange corona-times that we are living in, I think William Gibson’s “the street finds its own use for things” or maybe his “the future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed” might work. Life, career, and certainly research never go quite as planned and I think my biggest take-away from last year is that you must take things the way they come and change plans and traditions to adapt to new challenges … and organizing the Cyberpunk Culture Conference and the Cyberpunk Research Network were a few of the many things that came out of that year.

When I started my career and my membership in SFRA, something like 2007 or 2008 (not quite sure anymore), I was a PhD student in Germany – not the most likely of places to work in SF (though we did get better, see the German Country Representative report in this issue). When looking for a “home” for myself and my research interests, the SFRA really did shine like the proverbial city upon the hill, even though it was usually an ocean away. So, for better or worse, I organized my own network, the Association for Research in the Fantastic (GFF, see http://www.fantastikforschung.de) in Germany and started building bridges to international organizations such as SFRA and IAFA. I was pretty preoccupied there for a long time, but kept up contact with SFRA—I was Managing Editor of the SFRA Review for a while, I attended the wonderful SFRA conference in Lublin, Poland and I started to write articles and reviews mainly on posthuman SF, especially cyberpunk and biopunk. Many of you will know me from my ongoing editorial work for Cyberpunk and Visual Culture (2018) and the Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture (2020) and now Fifty Key Figures in Cyberpunk Culture (2022) and New Perspective in Contemporary German Science Fiction (2021).

But since stepping down from the GFF presidency and looking for more international connections and projects, I have been wanting to engage with the SFRA more deeply. I believe, that as a Vice President of the SFRA I could continue the amazing work at internationalization and diversity that Sonja has started, that presidents Pawel, Keren or Gerry have made a central thrust of the development of the SFRA. I have been the German Country Representative since the inauguration of the Country Reps and would like to further develop this group. I would like to help address issues of diversity, make SFRA more accessible to BIPoC, LGBTQ+, people with dis/ability and specifically scholars with less access to financial support. As an association of scholars these are the key issues we will need to address, to allow everyone in our community to participate, to broaden the horizon and the choir of voices that get to do research in SF. My hope is that I can be there to help SFRA distribute “the future” a bit more evenly, that I can help tinker with what we got to get the best and most surprising uses out of things. I hope for your vote and would love a chance to serve in the SFRA. Thank you.

TREASURER CANDIDATES

Jessica FitzPatrick

I am excited to stand as a candidate for the position of SFRA Treasurer. I have been a member of the SFRA since 2015, when my graduate work on world literature shifted into the realm of science fiction studies. Since then, the SFRA has been my intellectual home and model for joyful critical discourse and steadfast community. I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Mary Kay Bray Award committee for the past two years, and I look forward to taking the reins as committee leader this year. The SFRA’s dedication to access—conferences where established and early scholars mingle, opportunities for publication circulate, and convivial inclusive networks flourish—are dear to me. Like Tom Moylan’s understanding of utopia, I believe that community requires ongoing effort. As a member of the board I will work to keep making the SFRA as welcoming, exciting, and productive as possible. Outside the SFRA I am a Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh (PA, USA), where I teach interdisciplinary approaches to SF in courses like Science Fiction and Narrative and Technology. I also direct Pitt’s Digital Narrative and Interactive Design program, which combines the fields of English and Computing and Information to analyze, code, and wire story. Thanks to this position, I have experience in interdisciplinary approaches to SF, budgeting, and balancing evolving organization needs. I would be honored to serve as SFRA Treasurer, keeping us in financial health and supporting vital operations as we continue towards an ever more equitable and accessible future.

Tim Murphy

My main qualification for the post of SFRA treasurer lies in the fact that, nearly 40 years ago, I failed calculus as an undergraduate. That failure forced me to change my major from physics to literature, and transformed my lifelong affection for fantastic fiction—science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction—from a hobby into a constant element of my teaching, and ultimately, over the past decade, into a main focus of my scholarship. Had that not happened, I probably wouldn’t be a member of the SFRA today. That failure is also pertinent to the treasurer’s job because it means I lack the mathematical skills to perpetrate an effective embezzlement scheme or other fraud, so SFRA members can rest assured that their dues will be going where they’re supposed to go, and not into my pockets. I promise to be a trustworthy steward of the Association’s resources, though I cannot promise that I will be the best possible counselor for the Association’s planned investment portfolio, as that would once again require mathematical acumen far exceeding my own. Thank you for your attention. 

SFRA Bylaws with Amendments Added


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA Executive Committee


SFRA Bylaws with Amendments Added

Gerry Canavan
Marquette University


Editor’s Note: The PDF available through the Download button above has the proposed changes marked.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ARTICLE I Name and Purpose

Section 1

The organization shall be named, known, and styled as the Science Fiction Research Association. It is incorporated in the state of Ohio as a non-profit organization.

Section 2

SFRA is irrevocably dedicated to educational and beneficial purposes, fostering the common interests of its members in the field of science fiction and fantasy by encouraging new and diverse scholarship, furthering excellence in teaching at all levels of instruction, exchanging information among students and scholars throughout the world, improving access to published and unpublished materials, aiding in building library research collections, and promoting the publication of scholarly books and works pertinent to the fields of science fiction and fantasy. SFRA also promotes the advancement of this field of study by providing financial assistance or by conferring appropriate honors upon worthy writers, students, or scholars.

Section 3

In furtherance of the purposes described above, but not in limitation thereof, SFRA shall have power to engage in appropriate fundraising activities; to hold such property as is necessary to accomplish its purposes; and to conduct promotional activities, including advertising and publicity, in or by any suitable manner of media. This chapter is organized and operated for the above stated purposes, and for other nonprofit purposes related to the field of science fiction and fantasy. No part of its assets, income, or profits shall be distributable to, or inure to the benefit of, any individual, except in consideration of services rendered.

ARTICLE II Membership

Section 1

There shall be four classes of membership: active, honorary, institutional, and subsidized.

Section 2

(a) Active members: Individuals paying annual dues to the association (or pairs sharing a residence paying joint annual dues) thereby become active members of SFRA. They shall receive publications as designated in ARTICLE VIII sections 1 and 2, have the right to vote on all issues presented to the membership, and be eligible to hold office and serve on committees.

(b) Honorary Members: Recipients of the SFRA Award for Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship shall be honorary members. They shall pay no dues but shall receive all of the rights and benefits designated for active members in part a, above.

(c) Institutional Members: Certain appropriate academic or educational organizations may hold membership in SFRA. Such organizations may designate appropriate individuals to represent them in the association and, upon payment of annual dues, shall receive publications as designated in ARTICLE VIII.

(d) Subsidized Members: Certain members as described below shall be eligible to pay annual dues to the association at a reduced rate. Subsidized members shall receive all of the rights and benefits designated for active members in part a, above.

(i) Persons enrolled in accredited institutions shall qualify to enroll as subsidized members. Ordinarily, student memberships may be used no more than five times. A student may petition the Executive Committee for an extension of this period if special circumstances apply whereby they are a full-time student for a longer time.

(ii) Persons employed less than full-time (nine-month) in academic positions, including adjunct teachers, contract workers, and independent scholars shall qualify to enroll as subsidized members.

(iii) Retired persons (and persons over age 65) who have been active members for a period of at least five years shall qualify to enroll as subsidized members.

Section 3

The membership of any person or institution will be terminated if delinquent in payment of dues. Delinquent members will be notified by the Treasurer.

ARTICLE III Meetings of Members

Section 1

An annual conference open to all members of the association and such guests as may be determined by the Executive Committee shall be scheduled at least once during each calendar year. The president and members of the committee of the host institution shall decide upon the time of the meeting subject to ratification by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Section 2

A business meeting shall be held at some time during the annual conference. The time and place of the business meeting shall be clearly indicated on the SFRA website at least 21 days prior to the convening of the annual conference.

(a) An agenda shall be provided to those members present at the conference. The business of the meeting shall not be limited to the agenda. Any member may propose additional business from the floor.

(b) The voting membership present at the meeting shall constitute the quorum needed to carry on business matters. A simple majority of those present shall decide an issue. Within a period of sixty days either any five members or the president in consultation with the Executive Committee may ask that a given action be confirmed or ratified by a vote of the entire SFRA membership. General membership participation shall be obtained in the same manner as described in section “e” below.

(c) The business meeting shall be conducted under the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

(d) Proceedings of business meetings and Executive Committee meetings shall be reported promptly to the general membership through the SFRA Review.

(e) Such items of business as cannot be delayed until the next annual meeting shall be conducted by the Executive Committee which may, where it deems appropriate, request the membership deal with the issue by means of a vote conducted through such electronic means as the Executive Committee deems appropriate. In such a case, a fair time limit shall be set, and such issues shall be decided by a plurality of the votes cast. The results of such ballots will be reported to the membership at the earliest possible time through the SFRA Review, and time shall be made available for discussion of these matters at the next annual meeting.

Section 3

Other meetings and conferences of members may use the name SFRA only upon prior approval of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE IV Executive Committee

Section 1

The function of the Executive Committee shall be to serve as the corporation and to conduct the business of the association in such a manner as to promote the aims of SFRA as outlined in the Articles of Incorporation.

Section 2

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the president, the vice president, the immediate past president, the secretary, the treasurer, and at least two representatives elected at-large: to the extent possible, at least one apiece from graduate students and NTT faculty, and one currently living outside the United States or Canada. The immediate past president and the executive committee, while recruiting candidates for elections, will also make every effort to ensure that the executive committee composition is sufficiently representative of the full diversity of the science fiction community with respect to race, gender, sexuality, and (dis)ability.

Section 3

The president shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee unless they are unable to do so, in which case the succession shall be the same as the succession of the officers.

Section 4

The Executive Committee shall meet upon call of the president or upon call of one-third of the membership of the Executive Committee to consider such matters as may be pertinent to the association. In the event of inability to convene the meeting of the Executive Committee, the president is authorized to conduct the business of the committee by mail, telephone, or any other appropriate means of communication. All actions of the Executive Committee shall be reported to the membership at the earliest possible time following such actions by means of the SFRA Review.

ARTICLE V Officers and At-Large Members

Section 1

The officers of the association shall be chosen by the membership. There shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer. They shall take office on January 1 of the year succeeding their election. The terms of office shall be staggered, such that in any given year up to two officers may be newly elected to their positions.

Section 2

The president shall be chief executive of the association; they shall preside at all meetings of the membership and the Executive Committee, have general and active management of the business of the association, and see that all orders and resolutions of the Executive Committee are carried out; the president shall have general superintendence and direction of all other officers of the association and shall see that their duties are properly performed; the president shall submit a report of the operations of the association for the fiscal year to the Executive Committee and to the membership at the annual meeting, and from time to time shall report to the Executive Committee on matters within the president’s knowledge that may affect the association; the president shall be ex officio member of all standing committees and shall have the powers and duties in management usually vested in the office of president of a corporation; the president shall appoint all committees herein unless otherwise provided.

Section 3

The vice president shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the president during the absence of the latter and shall have such other duties as may, from time to time, be determined by the Executive Committee. At any meeting at which the president is to preside, but is unable, the vice president shall preside. The vice president shall have special responsibility for membership recruitment for SFRA (working along with the secretary, the web director, and the outreach officer).

Section 4

The secretary shall attend all sessions of the Executive Committee and all meetings of the membership and record all the votes of the association and minutes of the meetings and shall perform like duties for the Executive Committee and other committees when required. At any meeting at which the president is to preside, but is unable, and for which the vice president is unable to preside, the secretary shall preside. The secretary shall give notice of all meetings of the membership and special meetings of the Executive Committee and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee or the president. In the event the secretary is unable to attend such meetings as may be expected, the Executive Committee may designate some other member of the association to serve as secretary pro tem.

Section 5

The treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the association and have charge of all receipts and disbursements of the association and shall be the custodian of the association’s funds. The treasurer shall have full authority to receive and give receipts for all monies due and payable to the association and to sign and endorse checks and drafts in its name and on its behalf. The treasurer shall deposit funds of the association in its name and such depositories as may be designated by the Executive Committee. The treasurer shall furnish the Executive Committee an annual financial report within 60 days of the fiscal year; the fiscal year shall end on December 31. At any meeting at which the president is to preside, but is unable, and for which the vice president and secretary are unable to preside, the treasurer shall preside.

Section 6

The term of office for the president and vice president shall be three years. The president and vice president shall not succeed themselves in office.

Section 7

The term of office for the secretary and treasurer shall be three years. Secretaries may succeed themselves in office for a second successive term but shall serve for no more than two successive terms. Treasurers may succeed themselves in office for a second successive term but shall serve for no more than two successive terms.

Section 8

The order of succession in the event of death or resignation of the president shall be first the vice president, then the secretary, and then the treasurer.

Section 9

When the position of an officer other than the president shall become vacant due to death or resignation or for any other reason, the Executive Committee shall choose from the membership to fill the unexpired term of the position.


Section 10

The representatives at-large shall be elected by the membership. The term of office shall be three years; representatives may succeed themselves in office for a second successive term but shall serve for no more than two successive terms. The at-large members shall represent the interests of the membership at large to the executive committee. The representatives at-large will be voting members of the Executive Committee.

Section 11    

Officers, members of the Executive Committee, and members of the association shall not be entitled to any compensation for their service but shall be entitled to reimbursement for their expenses in carrying out such duties as may be designated to them.

Section 12    

The office of the web director shall be responsible for the maintenance of the SFRA website. The web director will report to the Executive Committee and will update the contents and format of the website as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee. The web director will be appointed by the Executive Committee, and will serve an open-ended term, which can be terminated by either the web director or the Executive Committee. The web director shall not be a member of the Executive Committee.

Section 13    

The outreach officer will organize, in coordination with the vice president, the various internet and social media outlets, in order to publicize and further the goals and mission of the organization. They will also be responsible for seeking opportunities for collaboration and outreach with other scholarly organizations, especially organizations that serve populations that have historically been underrepresented in SFRA. The outreach officer will be appointed by the Executive Committee and will serve a three-year term, which can be terminated by either the outreach officer or the Executive Committee. The outreach officer shall not be a member of the Executive Committee.

Section 14    

The SFRA Review editor(s) shall be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Executive Committee; editor(s) shall serve for a three-year period with the first year to be probationary. Editor(s) shall be responsible for electronic preparation of the SFRA Review, for obtaining and maintaining advertising, for coordinating print-on-demand requests, for coordinating other electronic sales mechanisms (such as links to online stores), and for fulfilling back issue requests.

Section 15

A development officer shall be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Executive Committee. The development officer shall work with the president and the treasurer to invest SFRA’s assets, as well as seek grants and other sources of significant institutional funding for the organization and coordinate bequeathments and donations. The development officer will be appointed by the Executive Committee and will serve an open-ended term, which can be terminated by either the development officer or the Executive Committee. The development officer shall not be a member of the Executive Committee.

Section 16

A standing conference committee shall be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Executive Committee. The purpose of this committee is to select the host of future annual conferences, as well as to assist the host with the selection of a theme, keynote speakers, and programming. This committee will understand that its goal is to ensure that annual meetings of the SFRA reflect the full diversity of the membership at all levels. This committee shall consist of at least three members, including (1) a chair; (2) the host of the most recently held conference; and (3) the host of the next upcoming conference. Additional members may be appointed by the president with the approval of the executive committee. Non-host members, including the chair, will serve three-year terms.

ARTICLE VI Elections

Section 1

Elections shall be held for three-year terms. The president and secretary will be elected in 2019 (to serve from January 2020 through December 2022) and every three years thereafter. The vice president and treasurer will be elected 2018 (to serve from January 2019 through December 2021) and every three years thereafter. The at-large members will be elected in 2023 and every three years thereafter.

Section 2

The general membership shall elect the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and representatives at-large as set forth in ARTICLE V.

Section 3

In each year in which elections are required, the Executive Committee shall establish a time and date by which ballots for the election of officers must be received, which date shall be known as the election date.

Section 4

The immediate past president, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall submit a slate of candidates for each position to be filled at least 60 days prior to the election day. These candidates will be nominated by current members (self-nominations and nomination by current members of the Executive Committee will be allowed). The immediate past president shall notify the membership in the SFRA Review, and all other appropriate and available electronic and social outlets, of this slate of candidates. Within 30 days of the publication of this slate of candidates in the SFRA Review, additional candidates may be nominated by submission of a petition signed by at least five persons of the membership in good standing entitled to vote in the election to the secretary of the association. At the end of this 30-day period nominations shall be closed and the ballot shall be prepared.

Section 5

Not later than October 1 of the election year, a ballot containing the names of the nominees shall be made available to the membership via a secure electronic, online voting format. The voting process will remain open for a four-week period.

Section 6

Except as provided in these Bylaws, the Executive Committee shall provide for administrative workings of the elections and the method of return and receipt of ballots cast by the membership. Except as otherwise specified herein, the immediate past president shall be responsible for conducting the election including the preparation and counting of ballots.

Section 7

Those candidates receiving a plurality of the votes cast shall be elected.

Section 8

The Executive Committee may fix a time not more than 60 days prior to the date of any meeting of the membership or date of election as a record date for the determination of the persons holding membership entitled to notice and to vote at such meetings or election.

ARTICLE VII Dues

Section 1

The annual dues shall be set annually by the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VIII Publications

Section 1

All members of the SFRA will automatically receive the publications which are recognized as official publications of the SFRA, which are listed in section 2, below.

Section 2

The SFRA Review is an official publication of the SFRA and shall be published four times per year or as directed by the Executive Committee. The expenses of the SFRA Review shall be paid from the association’s general fund.

Section 3

SFRA will continue to explore ways in which to sponsor and promote future publication of material valuable to the study of science fiction in the various media.

Section 4

Arrangements involving publications will be made by the president of the association with advice and consent of the Executive Committee, and such arrangements shall be reported to the general membership at the earliest time after completion through the medium of the SFRA Review.

ARTICLE IX Affiliate Organizations

Section 1

Appropriate regional, subject matter, and other special interest groups may seek affiliation with the Science Fiction Research Association. Such affiliation must be approved by the general membership upon recommendation of the Executive Committee. Such recommendation shall be made only following approval by the committee of the group’s constitution, Bylaws, and fiscal procedures.

ARTICLE X Assignment of Assets

Section 1

Should SFRA cease to be a viable organization, dissolution shall be effected in the same manner as amending the Bylaws described in Article XI.

Section 2

In the case of a dissolution, the Executive Committee shall determine at that time to which qualified tax exempt fund, foundation, and/or corporation organized or operating for charitable or educational purposes any SFRA assets remaining after payment of debts or provisions shall be distributed and paid.

ARTICLE XI Amendments

Section 1

Amendments to these Bylaws shall be proposed by the Executive Committee or by petition to the committee by no fewer than five percent of the persons holding membership in the association at the time of presentation of the petition to the Executive Committee.

Section 2

The proposed amendments shall be distributed by appropriate electronic and social media 60 days prior to the meeting or the voting process.

Section 3

The membership may by a majority vote of the membership present and voting at a meeting or by a majority of votes cast in electronic voting pass such an amendment.

* * *

The following sections were changed as a result of a vote of the membership of the SFRA in October 1992: Article I:1, 2; II:b; III:2, 2.d, 2.e; IV:2, 4; VI:5; VIII:2,a,4. A new Article X: Assignment of Assets was created; old Article X became Article XI: Amendments.

The following sections were changed as a result of the vote of the membership of the SFRA in June 2004: Article III:2a; V:3, 7; VIII:2a.

The following sections are proposed for change/addition by vote of the membership of the SFRA in June 2015: Article II:1,2; III:1, 2; IV: 2, 4; V: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13; VI; VII; VIII: 1, 2; XI.

The following sections were changed as a result of a vote of the membership of the SFRA in October 2017: Article V:1; Article VI:1, 3.

SFRA Proposed Bylaw Amendments 2021


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA Executive Committee


SFRA Proposed Bylaw Amendments 2021

Gerry Canavan
Marquette University


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Coming out of our collective discussions at the business meeting at our 2021 annual meeting, the executive committee of the Science Fiction Research Association would like to propose a number of amendments to our existing organizational bylaws. These amendments are intended are oriented around the following general goals:

  • Explain and clarify existing procedures of the SFRA, as well as update terminology that has changed since the last round of bylaw revisions.
  • Expand representation on the executive committee through the creation of at-large positions, including a standing “representative at-large” position intended to increase structural representation of graduate student and NTT members and another intended to increase structural representation of international members.
  • Formalize the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including in the composition its executive committee.
  • Create a standing conference committee to ensure continuity and best practices across annual conferences.
  • Create a development officer intended to pursue growth of the organization, including grant support, bequeathments, and investment of our savings in a traditional index fund.
  • Create a two-stage public “nomination” process for positions on the executive committee and eliminate the requirement that elections be competitive.

The executive committee, with the assistance of an ad-hoc bylaw amendment committee, discussed the creation of a formal diversity, equity, and inclusion committee, including the establishment of a formal DEIB officer on the executive committee. This was determined by the group to be a potentially unwieldy and potentially problematic solution, and we elected instead to infuse a commitment to the diversity through the SFRA’s existing structures and task them with implementing concrete DEIB goals. The idea is that the organization should dedicate itself as a whole to DEIB by committing resources to diversity, equity, and inclusion through our existing institutional practices, rather than locating this work in a single committee or individual that can too easily be scapegoated or ignored.

The group has proposed that we set a goal of 50% self-identified DEIB minority-status members and 40% elected/appointed leaders of minority-DEIB status by the end of the next cycle of elections in 2026.

The executive committee would like to thank the ad-hoc bylaw amendment committee (De Witt Douglas Kilgore, Selena Middleton, Taryne Taylor, Christy Tidwell, Dagmar Van Engen, Lisa Yaszek, and Ida Yoshinaga) for their assistance in drafting these amendments.

This is intended to be as public and transparent a process as possible. If there are questions or concerns about any of the proposed amendments, please post them to the SFRA-L list and they can be discussed; concerns can also be raised privately to Gerry Canavan at gerry.canavan@marquette.edu or to any other member of the executive committee.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

  • Article I, Section 2 adds the word “diverse” to the overall charge of the organization.
  • Article I, Section 3 is added to state expressly that SFRA possesses resources that it is empowered to use in pursuit of the goals described in I.1 and I.2.
  • Article II, section 2 reflects the new name of the SFRA Award for Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship; clarifies that multiple categories of academic workers are eligible for subsidized membership; and changes he/she to they.
  • Article III, section 1 clarifies that sometimes conferences are scheduled but not held.
  • Article IV, section 2 adds at least two at-large members to the executive committee, including a requirement that to the extent possible one be from graduate student and NTT ranks and one be from outside the US/Canada; and tasks the executive committee with recruiting candidates for elections that reflect the diversity of the science fiction community.
  • Article IV, section 3 changes he/she to they.
  • Article V, section 2 changes he/she to they.
  • The new and altered sections of Article V describes the roles of the representatives at-large, development officer, the conference committee, and the outreach officer (formerly the public relations officer).
  • The changes to Article VI explain the nomination process for executive officers and removes the requirement that elections be competitive, replacing it with a process in which members of the organization nominate or self-nominate candidates both before and after the slate of candidates has been announced.

Recipient’s Statement for the Speculative Fictions and Cultures of Science Book Award 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Recipient’s Statement for the Speculative Fictions and Cultures of Science Book Award 2020

Melody Jue


It is an incredible honor to have Wild Blue Media receive the Speculative Futures and Cultures of Science Award. I am grateful to the awards committee, Paweł, Amy, Lisa, and Sherryl, for their hard work and careful attention to all of the book nominations, especially on top of their extra responsibilities this particular year. In many ways, Wild Blue Media marks a pre-pandemic moment for me of thinking about the ocean as a science fictional milieu that one can physically or imaginatively immerse in. While this past year has leaned more on the imaginative side, I hope that Wild Blue Media encourages an expansive sense of science-fictionality across a variety of sensory environments. I would also like to thank Colin Milburn, Kate Hayles, Priscilla Wald, and Gerry Canavan for helping shape and stretch my own science fictional imagination in Wild Blue Media and beyond.

Recipient’s Statement for the Support a New Scholar Award 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Recipient’s Statement for the Support a New Scholar Award 2020

Guangzhao Lyu


“Unity in wisdom; none shall separate.” This is the motto of the Goodenough College in central London, a student residential college where I have been staying for the past a few years of my PhD. (I know its name sounds unusual, as it is inherited from its founder, the Goodenough family.) People from across the world, regardless of their culture, race, belief, nationality, and academic expertise, are united in this place, all included and welcomed in the same community. Ideas clashing, passions growing, there comes the true wisdom out of an atmosphere of diversity, conviviality, and heteroglossia, where one is all, and all is one.


This is why I feel so delighted, so honoured, and so flattered to be this year’s awardee of the “Support a New Scholar” scheme, to be welcomed into such a fabulous community of science fiction studies, and even more gloriously, to be trusted to make recognised contributions to SFRA. Here I would like to take this chance to thank my supervisors Dr. James Kneale and Dr. LU Xiaoning for their consistent and painstaking academic guidance. They enlightened me not only with the nuances within the domain of science fiction, but also the profound reference to politics, history, economy, and society in these narratives. Science fiction can be politicised, historicised, serving as a line of flight towards alternatives, towards the hope that has not yet to come. This is how I read science fiction in my PhD thesis “The Boom and The Boom: Historical Rupture and Political Economy in Contemporary Chinese and British Science Fiction”, juxtaposing the latest renaissance of science fiction in the two countries—the British SF Boom and the Chinese New Wave. I put these two movements under the broader social-cultural transitions in the post-Thatcher Britain and the post-socialist China, interrogating and amplifying the transgressive nature of science fiction.


I would also like to thank everyone who support me along the way: people of the London Chinese Science Fiction Group which I co-founded with Angela Chan, people of the London Science Fiction Research Community who welcomed me as a co-director, and people of the Science Fiction Research Association who nominated me for this award, who invited me to another wonderful community where I could join the unity of all science fiction scholars, writers, readers, and publishers. Unity in wisdom; none shall separate. I will keep this in mind and stand with all my fellow colleagues in exploring the unlimited line of flight connoted in science fiction, with the broadest definition.

Recipient’s Statement for the SFRA Book Award 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Recipient’s Statement for the SFRA Book Award 2020

Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee


Thank you very much for this entirely unexpected and extraordinary honour. I wanted to quickly mention three groups of peoples and places in gratitude. First, SFRA and especially, the juries, who have been the keepers of the flame in more ways than one during these dark times. The thought of attempting a book like this would not have crossed my mind had it not been for many of you in this (virtual) gathering. Second, Warwick University and Liverpool University Press for being homes to some remarkable colleagues, students, editors, and publishers. Finally, the friends and family who did not survive the pandemic and are no longer here to share the world with me. This is a small and necessarily inadequate way of honouring you.

Recipient’s Statement for the Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Recipient’s Statement for the Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service 2020

Grace Dillon


It is a great honor to receive the Clareson Award for professional service. Looking over the list of previous recipients, I feel deeply humbled. You probably know Mahatma Gandhi’s famous observation that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I think that ethos explains why we serve—whether it’s professional service or community service—and why we often understand the potential impact of our own scholarship in terms of service, as the manifestation of a broader mandate involving social justice praxis.

I thought that I would use this opportunity to confess my guiltiest pleasure in attempting to enact the ethos of service.

I started and continue to sponsor and coordinate a writing contest that both empowers emerging authors while bringing them into the fold of Indigenous Futurisms, an SF genre that promotes thought experiments about how various futures might look through the lens of Indigenous perspectives that have become accustomed to mitigating the historical effects of colonialism and decolonization on their communities. Standing squarely in the present, Indigenous Futurisms storytellers explore the past in order to inform ameliorated visions of future possibilities. Now in its 12th year, our “Imagining Indigenous Futurisms” annual writing contest awards one thousand dollars to the winning entrant, and it’s not too late to apply. Our application deadline is always November First. This year’s 2021 contest will be judged by my dear friend and colleague Andrea Hairston. You will recognize Andrea from her robust participation across SF venues and from her many works including MASTER OF POISONS, her most recent offering in a long line of wonderful novels.

I think of my Imagining Indigenous Futurisms Writing Contest as the combination I spoke of earlier: as service to the profession because it invites storytellers to self-identify as SF artists and scholars, and as service to communities because it brings Indigenous perspectives into mainstream contexts, just as I am attempting now. So, I’ll close by asking you to help spread good words about Indigenous Futurisms—ab0ut its potential to shape our thinking about the SF canon, and to expand our appreciation for SF’s potential to shape social change. Please consider joining our community via our Facebook page. Simply search Facebook for “Imagining Indigenous Futurisms.” You will discover how storytellers—artists, craftspeople, fiction writers, poets, playwrights, academics, and others—now live Indigenous Futurisms in ways that I never anticipated when I first introduced the term and began promoting its healing potential so many years ago. Let your students and your colleagues know about Imagining Indigenous Futurisms, both the writing contest that incentivizes it but, more importantly, as a social justice movement that gifts us with opportunities to find ourselves by losing ourselves in the service of others.

Thank you, again, to the Clareson Committee, to my SFRA friends and colleagues, and to you. I am deeply grateful.

Recipients’ Statement for the Mary Kay Bray Award 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Recipient’s Statement for the Mary Kay Bray Award 2020

Virginia L. Conn and Andy Duncan


Virginia L. Conn:

Thank you so much to the SFRA committee for recognizing my work. Contributing to the transnational, complex, and innovative community of global science fiction scholars is more important now than ever, and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of it. Even as the last year of the pandemic has physically isolated most of us, it’s gratifying to know that our science fiction community has continued to develop new ways of connecting people and concepts.

Andy Duncan:

Greetings from Week One of Clarion West 2021, on behalf of a number of new writers SFRA will be discussing soon enough. I am honored to share the Mary Kay Bray Award with Virginia Conn. I thank the SFRA and the awards committee. I thank Alec Nevala-Lee, whose ambitious and fascinating book gave me something to write about. I thank Dominic Grace, who commissioned, edited and published my piece. And I thank Jeannette Ng, whose August 2019 speech at the Dublin Worldcon, while my piece was still in press, was a watershed moment in the field’s reckoning with John W. Campbell Jr.

Recipient’s Statement for the Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship Award 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Recipient’s Statement for the Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship Award 2020

Veronica Hollinger


My thanks to the SFRA for this honour. Special thanks to the members of the Award committee—my esteemed colleagues Amy Ransom, Art Evans, and Isiah Lavender. I’m deeply grateful for the support of the SFRA Executive—Gerry Canavan, Sonja Fritzsche, Hugh O’Connell, Keren Omry, and Sean Guynes—and of our host for this year’s conference, my good friend Graham Murphy. I’m so sorry not to see you all in person. It’s been a brilliant conference.

My very first conference where I presented my very first paper was the 1985 SFRA. Although I’ve strayed from SFRA from time to time over the years, my alter ego and ex-SFRA president, Joan Gordon, has always lured me back. SFRA’s recognition of my scholarship is particularly gratifying, as I consider it to be my academic home.

I’ve always been attracted by the bright shiny concepts of contemporary cultural theory. Over the years I’ve written about Derridean archive fever, cyborg theory, postmodernism, performance theory, Chinese science fiction, cyberculture, critical posthumanism, the climate crisis, plant studies, and lotsabout queer-feminist gender and sexuality. Right now, I’m thinking about artificial intelligence. I’m pleased to report that there’s just no end to it…

The one thing that all this research has in common is science fiction, which has always been my “object of study” (as we say in my Cultural Studies Department).

I’ve been blessed by the science-fiction universe, in my academic job, for instance, in the Cultural Studies Department at Trent University. For most of the last two decades that I worked there, I taught an average of two full-year courses on science fiction every year, including a fourth-year honours seminar that was absolutely mine to do with as I pleased. I’ve had many opportunities to introduce younger students to the amazements of science fiction and many opportunities to talk about science fiction with smart and interested more experienced students. It’s been a great gift to have a job where my teaching and my research have so often intersected.

In the same year that I began at Trent—1990—I began my stint as co-editor of Science Fiction Studies and, although I’ve retired from Trent, I am still deeply engaged with that wonderful project. It has situated me at one of the key sites of sf scholarship in English for all of my academic life and helped me to keep up to date on work by a diversity of scholars, all of whom are deeply engaged with their own bright shiny objects, concepts, texts, histories, politics, and cultures. SFS has also given me an academic family of co-editors beyond compare: Art Evans, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Joan Gordon, Carol McGuirk, Lisa Swanstrom, and Sherryl Vint, and past co-editor Rob Latham. I owe them more than I can ever repay for their years of friendship, hard work, and general all-around brilliance. I also want to give a shout-out to two newer colleagues, Moritz Ingwersen and Brent Ryan Bellamy, whose work has had such a positive impact on my own in the past few years. Given that we’re all posthuman now and we know there’s really no such thing as an individual, my achievements, such as they are, are far from being down to me. So many wonderful people have influenced, supported, and co-created my work, including so many of you in SFRA. I thank you very much for this honour, and I hope that you will all agree to share it with me. Thank you.

Remarks on the SFRA Book Award 2020


SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA 2021 Conference


Remarks on the SFRA Book Award 2020

Keren Omry


I’m particularly excited to be presenting this award this year since it’s only the second year in existence and we all know that last year we weren’t able to properly present the award (again my regrets to last year’s recipients).

I want to start by extending my huge appreciation and gratitude to my fellow jurors on the committee: Graham Murphy, Ida Yoshinaga, and Pawel Frelik. This has been an incredibly complicated year for each of us for professional and/or personal reasons and yet we managed to pull together and select what I feel is a very worthy winner for the prize.

The SFRA Book Award is given to the author of the best first scholarly monograph in SF, in each calendar year (had some very impressive candidates, each good for different reasons, so we end up having to compare the apples to the oranges. And yet, above these stood one text that managed to both push our understanding of the familiar and to introduce us to realms of speculation that many of us knew less about.

Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee’s Final Frontiers: Science Fiction and Techno-Science in Non-Aligned India (studies the relationship between science fiction, the techno-scientific policies of independent India, and the global non-aligned movement that emerged as a response to the Cold War and decolonization. 

The book is a major contribution to world sf studies that intervenes in current discussions on postcolonial science fiction and on the emergence of sf as a global genre and in this way it is part of a larger engine of creation evident in the expansion of contemporary critical interest in Indigenous futurisms, alternate futurisms, and a general pushback at ideas on canonicity and what that means today. What is especially remarkable about Final Frontiers, however, is that in its perambulations through a variety of localized media it remains in steadfast dialogue with the kind of sf material and scholarship many of us will be more familiar with. In this way, Mukherjee’s book not only shifts our attention on what we read but shows us fundamentally new ways of reading science fiction in the world, that will likely shape the very future of science fiction studies.