We are delighted to announce the 2017 BSFA lecture. Dr. Sarah Whitfield will speak on “‘Who Tells Your Story?’ Revolutions|revelations in Hamilton : An American Musical”
She writes, “Hamilton is a phenomenon. For many it is a revolution in musical theatre, crashing the sound of hip-hop into the Broadway sound and challenging the history of the U.S. as the property of a few great white men. Yet is it a revolution for musicals? Hamilton invites us to reassess musical theatre and understand how it has enacted a ‘struggle to dream intensely’ about radical racial inclusion and diversity for over a century.”
Dr Sarah Whitfield is a Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre at University of Wolverhampton. She is a musical theatre researcher, practitioner and academic. She writes about theatre history with a particular focus in uncovering the work that women do in the arts. As a dramaturg she has collaborated and advised on a range of projects from site-specific immersive theatre to West End musicals. She tweets at @sarahinthepark The talk will be at 11:30 am on Saturday, 15 April 2017 at Innominate, the 2017 Eastercon, which is being held at the Hilton NEC Metropole in Birmingham. Day memberships are currently available and will be available at the door as well. Details of the convention are available here: http://eastercon2017.uk/
The 2016 BSFA Lecture will be delivered by Rachel Dickinson (Manchester Metropolitan University) at Mancunicon, the 2016 Eastercon. She will speak on “Crafting the Future: Ruskin, Textiles and Visions of Futures Past”. It will take place on Saturday 26 March, at 11:30 am in Deansgate 3 at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester. It is open to any member of Mancunicon. (Please note that Mancunicon is no longer selling memberships, and if you are not a member you may not attend the Lecture.)
The Victorian cultural critic John Ruskin was deeply concerned that unchecked industrialisation and unfettered capitalism would lead to environmental destruction and widespread dehumanisation of individuals. He looked at problems stemming from technological advances going on around him in the Nineteenth Century, then looked to the medieval past in order to speculate alternative paths forward from his present, that might lead to a better, more sustainable future. This lecture focuses on how Ruskin uses the making and wearing of textiles to discuss political economy and to inspire change. It pays particular attention to craft and making, and the way we make and define ourselves through the clothing we wear.
Rachel Dickinson is Principal Lecturer in Research & Knowledge Exchange in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, at their Cheshire Campus. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Lancaster, and her M.A. at the University of Western Ontario. She is an expert in the work of John Ruskin, and has edited John Ruskin’s Correspondence with Joan Severn: Sense and Nonsense Letters (2009). She is also a fan of manga and anime such as Ghost in the Shell.
The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science. The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want! This is the ninth BSFA Lecture.
Just a reminder that the following BSFA events are taking place at this coming weekend’s Dysprosium Eastercon 66 at Park Inn, Heathrow.
Saturday 17:30 – 18:30, Discovery “Runar munt þu finna”: why sing pop in dead languages?: The BSFA Lecture will be given by Dr Simon Trafford of the Institute of Historical Research. Introduced by Edward James and Chaired by Tony Keen.
Sunday 17:30 – 18:30, Discovery, The BSFA Awards: Presented by Gareth L. Powell
(Nomination details are here. If you’re at the con, please come to the BSFA desk to pick up a ballot paper)
… and the following items are also on the programme featuring BSFA committee-members:
Johnson, 11:15 – 12.15
RIP The Media Room?: The future of media programme items at conventions. A future of con-running item.
Dave Lally, Harry Payne, Mark Slater.
Discovery, 15:00 – 16:00
The Things We Learned From Pratchett: An exploration of fantasy, storytelling and ethics.
Jim Butcher, Edward James, Seanan McGuire, Farah Mendlesohn, Jessica
Endeavour, 12:30 – 13:30
Equal Rites?: The use of Science Fiction and Fantasy literature and
television to promote diversity, from the uber-multicultural Discworld to the
bridge of the original Enterprise. How far have we come and are we pulling
the mainstream along with us?
Farah Mendlesohn, Fiona Moore, Sarah Shemilt.
Endeavour, 13:45 – 14:45
Editorial Workshop: Donna Scott is a professional copy-editor. This workshop
offers a crash-course in how to self-edit a ‘finished’ piece of work, with tips
on rooting out common foibles, including tautology, exposition and other
hazards. We will also explore some of the mysteries of the professional
You can submit the first 500 words of your own prose for the group work via
the BSFA desk the day before the workshop, but if you don’t feel brave
enough, I will find a suitable practice text for you.
20 places maximum: please book in advance.
This will involve pair-work, so be prepared to make a new acquaintance.
With just a few days to go, the BSFA team are getting very excited about Satellite 4 in Glasgow. Quite a few members of the committee will be there at our desk in the Dealers Room, so you can pop by, say hello, refresh your membership in person, and grab some goodies (I am bound to have a stash of sweeties). A couple of appeals from us desk-bound types: if there are any members who would like to contribute an hour here or there to volunteer sitting at the BSFA desk, we would be very grateful. Please come and say hello and we will find a time for you. Also, if you would like to contribute book prizes for our fund-raising Lucky Dip, please do bring those along on Friday… and then we’ll be running the game over the rest of the weekend.
And of course, we are hosting some great events at the convention.
Saturday 19th April, 1pm. The BSFA Lecture.
Dr Sara-Patricia Wasson (Edinburgh Napier University) presents her talk on ‘Trade in flesh and tears: some science fictions of organ harvest’. Introduced by Tony Keen.
Sunday 20th April, 7pm. The BSFA Award Ceremony/James White Award Ceremony
The annual BSFA Awards as voted for by members of the BSFA and Eastercon for Best Non-Fiction; Best Art; Best Short Fiction and Best Novel. Also, the James White Award: results of the competition to find the best short story by a non-professional writer for 2013
BSFA presenters include: Andrew J. Wilson, Alice Lawson , Jim Burns, Steve Lawson, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell , and Stephanie Saulter.
BSFA members will have received their copies of Vector and the BSFA Awards Booklet in the last few days. I would like to say thank you for all the feedback we have received from members. So many of you were so pleased to have received your publications, so thanks for all the tweets and shares on social media. We also had some very useful comments from some members that we will certainly use to inform future publications. As you may be aware, there has been a lot of discussion lately about fair representation for creators of science fiction in reviews and merchandising, and about what the industry can do to help eliminate reinforcement of unconscious bias. The BSFA is here to represent its membership – scrub that, the BSFA is its membership – and we wouldn’t have a publication to put together without many of our members coming together to read, review, report, write, edit, design, typeset and organize the whole caboodle. We are grateful for this, and proud that in the last four issues, 35% of our reviews have been of female authors, which is well above industry average. But that’s our average; we have dipped well below this in the last issue. We would like 35% to be our bar for improvement. Publishers, we need your help with this – please submit more of your publications by female authors for review. And we also need more female reviewers! Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to give reviewing for the BSFA a try.
Our members will hopefully find the BSFA Awards Booklet a useful tool for deciding who to vote for in the BSFA Awards, but even if you’re not a member, you can still vote if you’re going to Eastercon. If you head over to Starship Sofa, they have recorded audio versions of the shortlisted stories for Best Short Fiction 2013. I am also reproducing the shortlisted nominations for Best Artwork 2013 below, with apologies to Richard Wagner whose artwork was unfortunately slightly cropped in the print version we sent out to members.
Dream London – by Joey Hifi
Metropolis by Kevin Tong
The Angel at the Heart of the Rain by Richard Wagner
There will be no e-newsletter now until after Satellite 4. If you are a member and have been missing out on the e-newsletter, please get in touch. We have a lot of dead emails on our lists so we may need to update your details. The next newsletter will include details of our member survey, exclusive author interviews and member competitions, so it’s going to be well worth getting. Thanks for reading, and see you at Eastercon!