Academic Conference Appearances are like Late Night Buses

In that they offer uncomfortable seating and there’s usually some guy ranting incoherently while everyone else avoids eye contact.

Also, you wait ages for one and then a whole bunch arrive at once.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, relating primarily to parenthood, emigration and writing commitments, I’d not actually been to a conference in over a year, until I was invited to take part in this excellent one-day event on Literature, Cultural Studies, and Translation. It was my first conference held in Cyberspace, so I finally got to experience the Zoom fatigue everyone else has been complaining about for 18 months.

Speaking on Nadsat in translation alongside Benet Vincent.

Anyhow, it was an excellent, eclectic and engaging experience, for which I must thank the organisers at Cappadocia University. And it has spurred me into action to do a few more. Often, one thing which precluded attending conferences was the same reason which rendered them appealing – that you had to visit a different location. The upside to Zoom-fatigue conferencing is the same as the downside – it can and will be done from one’s back bedroom. So, newly emboldened, I’ve re-engaged on the conference circuit and have a few abstracts accepted already for the forthcoming year, primarily on religious futurism topics.

Next up is an especially busy conference, as I’ll be presenting not one but two papers in two days. I’d link to SFRA 2021, except you have to be a member and pay to attend. If that is you, then please pop in to listen to my papers. I hope you find them interesting.

I’ve already mentioned the first paper here, which will examine Israel in Alt-History. The other relates to my long-running SF and Buddhism project and takes us up to the Sixties:

There is, of course, four days worth of exceptional SF research, not to mention roundtables, keynotes and discussion. If you’re not an SFRA member, you should definitely consider joining and (virtually) coming along to the conference. There are too many papers I’m looking forward to hearing (childminding permitting) but most of all I’m excited about my fellow panel members. I’m on two amazing panels, one on Israel and Palestine in SF and one on religious futurisms.

We might even have a little announcement to make too. More of that after the event.