Recently LSFRC successfully pitched a stream within the forthcoming “Memories of the Future” conference. However, the conference is set to take place in Senate House, which is under an ongoing boycott of academic events, in solidarity with the struggle of support staff there.
Labour in academia is under a lot of pressure from corporatist management, and we at LSFRC are opposed to any normalisation of precarity and exploitation — not just of scholars, but also of all other workers whose labour is utterly integral to academic spaces and institutions. As such, we stand in solidarity with the Senate House boycott and have decided to withdraw our involvement in “Memories of the Future”. We have given our delegates full, judgment-free autonomy in whether or not they choose to present at or attend any part of the event, but our stream as proposed will not be going ahead.
Instead, we have decided to host an event of our own, entitled “Life in the Glasshouse: Splintered Memories”. Although we have yet to finalise the schedule, we have Birkbeck’s Keynes Library booked from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday 29th March and proceedings will be in session for the majority, if not the entirety of that time frame. Entry will be entirely free, and we hope to be able to provide some snacks and refreshments for breaks. For more details visit our event page.
How does science fiction (sf) remember different pasts and futures? To what extent are memories the ground of its speculations? In what ways does sf’s capacity to remember (and forget) intervene in the terrain of transcendence, activism, exploitation, nostalgia and more? How can science fiction help us remember (or unforget) the forms of work and labour which sustain the glasshouse of the academy and culture industry? And how might these threads converge or interrelate?
Abstracts for presentations can be found here. The event schedule is as follows:
10.00 Doors Open (hot drinks available throughout the day)
10.30 Panel 1: Science Fictional Consciousness: Transcendence, Imaginaries
Chair: Francis Gene-Rowe
Llew Watkins, “Mind Made World: Transcending Past and Future through experience of bardo”
Sasha Myerson, “Virtual Dreaming: Vaporwave and the Hypnagogic”
Rachel Claire Hill, “‘They Alone Shall Possess the Earth Who Live From The Powers of the Cosmos’: Utopian Rhetoric in NewSpace Industries”
12.00 Lunch Break (own arrangements)
13.00 Panel 2: Science Fictional Remembering: Nostalgia, Ruins
Chair: Katie Stone
Asami Nakamura, “Aestheticised Nostalgia in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go”
Dan Byrne-Smith, “Bitch Planet, Retro Adverts and Three-Dimensional Temporality”
Amy Butt, “The Reliquary in the Ruin: Museums in Science Fiction”
14.45 Panel 3: Invaders Must Live: The Time(s) and Memory of Activism
Chair: Tom Dillon
Karolina Szpyrko, “Non-circulative memories and activist productivity: methodology for the Polish feminist movement”
Kate Meakin, “A white feminist dystopia: chrononormativity and historical amnesia in The Handmaid’s Tale protests”
16.00 Roundtable: Science Fiction and Splintered Memories (of the Future).
Participants – Amy Butt, Katie Stone, Rhodri Davies, Aren Roukema. Moderated by Francis Gene-Rowe.
17.00 End (pub drinks)