McMaster University Presents

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Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre

A conference in honour of Robert J. Sawyer's
archival donation to the University Archive Collections

Friday, September 13, to Sunday, September 15, 2013

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Three Days! • Multiple Tracks! • Banquet!

Friday night reception and Rob Sawyer speech: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Faculty Club
Main sessions Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Council Chambers (Gilmour Hall room 111)
Breakout sessions Saturday & Sunday: Chester New Hall rooms 102 and 106
Saturday night banquet: 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome and admission is free!
($50 the optional Saturday-night banquet).

[Robert J. Sawyer] Robert J. Sawyer has called science fiction "the literature of intriguing juxtapositions," and so it is, combining a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, astronomy, computer science, evolutionary biology, gender studies, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, and sociology.

Papers for Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre have been accepted from scholars across North America in all academic areas, with a focus on Canadian science fiction in general and Sawyer's oeuvre in particular.

The biggest and best academic conference ever focusing on Canadian science fiction:

Authors? We got 'em: Hugo Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer, Aurora Award-winner Julie E. Czerneda, Aurora Award-winner Élisabeth Vonarburg, and Hugo Award-winner Robert Charles Wilson.

Editors? The most important ones in the history of Canadian SF: Order of Canada member John Robert Colombo (editor of the seminal Other Canadas) and Hugo Award-winner David Hartwell of Tor Books.

Academics? Of course! From all over North America! In all areas of academic study! Just a small sampling of the speakers:

As befitting an academic conference about Canadian science fiction, we'll have papers presented in both English and French.

In total, 35 papers have been accepted for the academic conference, and there will be readings by all the attending authors and speeches by the attending editors — and special guest Chris Szego of Bakka Phoenix Books will give us her booksellers' perspective on the state of the art.

The conference is in honour of the donation to McMaster of the manuscripts, correspondence, working papers, and notes of Hugo, Nebula, and Aurora Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer. His archives will be housed and displayed alongside McMaster's massive collection of Bertrand Russell material, its large H.G. Wells collection, and its extensive archival holdings in Canadian literature, including the papers of Pierre Berton, John Robert Colombo, Margaret Laurence, Farley Mowat, and publisher Jack McClelland.

Sponsored by: McMaster University Library, the Office of Advancement, and the Faculty of Humanities


A note for presenters:

As for the logistics of our event, each participant will present for an absolute maximum of 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for discussion (that, or a half-hour discussion will follow the three presentations in each panel). We will be very firm with regard to the schedule as there are many triple parallel sessions to consider, and we want breaks to be enjoyed and the transition between panels to run smoothly.

Also, and foremost, each participant deserves equal attention and, while many of us have interesting and relevant ideas that could require hours to articulate in order to be fully appreciated, by choosing to participate in this conference, everyone is tacitly agreeing to this 20-minute limit in advance, out of respect for both the prepared schedule and fellow participants. Aim, then, to present your talk in less than 20 minutes so as to avoid the awkwardness of being interrupted prematurely without the opportunity to properly conclude. A simple strategy is to rehearse and time a clear, well-paced delivery of your presentation.

All rooms are fully equipped with audiovisual technology, should your talk include a PowerPoint presentation, for example.

Accommodations for the conference are available at Staybridge Suites in downtown Hamilton, approximately 10 minutes from McMaster University by taxi or 15 minutes by bus. Please call the hotel as soon as possible to book your suite (905-527-1001). All rooms will be held for the "Science Fiction Interdisciplinary Genre" group until August 23, which is three weeks prior to arrival. Those of you who know one another may opt to save on expenses by sharing a suite, each of which is equipped with a queen-sized bed as well as a pull-out, in addition to a kitchenette.

For further information, contact the conference chairs:

Dr. Catherine Annette Grisé
Associate Professor
Department of English and Cultural Studies
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L9
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 23510

Dr. Nicholas Serruys
Assistant Professor of Québec and Franco-Canadian Literatures and Cultures
Department of French
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L9
Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 23756


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