This conference changed my life (or my thesis, at least)

This conference changed my life (or my thesis, at least)

I recently got back from a four day geekend that was an international conference on science fiction held in London, as the 72nd WorldCon, an event so big that countries and cities bid for it in coming years (like the Olympics, but instead of athletes you get nerds) – indeed, it was held in a venue so big that it had two – TWO – train stations. Count them… Two. The conference was on diversity in science fiction, from its conception and inception to form and content, including text and hypertext, passive and interactive narratives, and, specifically for me, narratives that operated outside of the dominant paradigm of the straight white male. As I was struggling with a dissertation on the (feminist) posthuman in Iain M Banks novels, Alice Ferrebe threw over a CFP email and I went for it with all the verve and vitriol I had. And they accepted my abstract. And then I panicked. But I had my mentors, the staff,...
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Research Seminar: Professor Margaret Topping (QUB), ‘A Sense of Place in Travel Narratives, or Travelling in 4D’ (10 December 2013)

Research Seminar: Professor Margaret Topping (QUB), ‘A Sense of Place in Travel Narratives, or Travelling in 4D’ (10 December 2013)

Professor Margaret Topping, Queen's University Belfast ‘A Sense of Place in Travel Narratives, or Travelling in 4D’ LJMU English Research Seminar 10 December 2013 Professor Margaret Topping presented an involving and thematically transitory lecture on travel writing and its place in an increasingly digitised society. Through outlining where Francophone travel writing has come from and where it stands, Topping then looked at how themes and sensitivity within travel writing as a text are explored through installation art – almost the flip side of the coin, where instead of people seeking out the text to explore other worlds, the other worlds are brought to them. Topping deftly brought wo supposedly polar art forms together in an encompassing and thoroughly convincing argument that considered the possibilities and plasticities of negotiating debates on intercultural mobility. Looking at the written works of Flaubert, Maspero, Proust and Sebar, and the visual works of Kader Attia, Mounir Fatmi and Majida Khattari, Topping selected and entwined already moving and powerful works...
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