Classicists (and possibly SF people around Canterbury): I am putting together a proposal for a Star Wars and Classical Antiquity panel for the Classical Association in April (https://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/classics/news/?view=6250), and have just had a speaker drop out. Would anyone like to be part of this? If so, please send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a 200-word abstract by close of play tomorrow (30 August), as the deadline for submitting panels is 31 August. Please note speakers must register for the conference, and I have no funding to support attendance.
Just starting in a few hours is a conference in Warsaw on “Chasing Mythical Beasts… The Reception of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in Children’s & Young Adults’ Culture as a Transformation Marker”. You can download the programme booklet here, which makes clear that it is packed full of discussions of modern children’s fantasy, so directly relevant to what this blog is interested in.
Also there’s a Tumblr post here about Amazons in the forthcoming Wonder Woman movie.
A brief note about the conference ‘Reflected Shadows: Folklore and the Gothic’, taking place over the weekend at Kingston University. I don’t see anything in the programme that’s directly relevant to Classics, but there are likely to be some shared thematic concerns.
At the Classical Association Annual Conference in Edinburgh a week ago, where I was part of a session on ‘Science Fiction and Classical Mythology’, along with Lynn Fotheringham, Nick Lowe, and the person who brought us all together, Marian Makins (you can find the abstracts in this document, at least until the site gets taken down, as it no doubt will soon), Frances Foster bemoaned the fact that nothing got published on this blog any more. So I have decided to resurrect it, though the Twitter account will remain dormant.
There’s a new issue out of Transformative Works and Cultures, the critical journal of the Organization for Transformative Works, who, among other things, maintain the fanfiction archive Archive of Our Own. This is a special issue on ‘The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work’, edited by the redoubtable Ika Willis. I have a piece in here. I haven’t yet had time to read the rest, but dependable authors (and speakers at the ‘Swords, Sandals, Sorcery and Space’ conference) such as Amanda Potter and Juliette Harrisson have contributed.
Just this last weekend, Brett Rogers and Ben Stevens, who have previously brought us Classical Traditions in Science Fiction and ‘The Once and Future Antiquity’, together with Jesse Weimer, organized ‘The Modern Prometheus; or, Frankenstein’. The paper titles look really good, and I look forward to the publication.
Fantasy writer and Classics graduate Juliet McKenna writes about the importance of knowing how views of the past change, using attitudes to Greek homosexuality as her example.
C.E. Murphy has a new novel about Atlantis, Atlantis Fallen. I haven’t read this yet, so can’t comment.
Finally, Katherine McDonald has a blog post about the use of Latin in the 2008 Doctor Who episode ‘Planet of the Ood’ (the episode which follows immediately the famously Classical ‘Fires of Pompeii’), and how that text draws upon Seneca and Cicero and Petronius – maybe. The post is interesting in itself, but it also led me to Penny Goodman writing about the Latin in Murray Gold’s ‘Vale Decem’, and Philip Boyes’ gloriously fannish trawl through Classics in Doctor Who, in two posts. I’ve covered myself much the same material in a more academic fashion, in my contributions to Space and Time and Impossible Worlds, Impossible Things, and Amanda Potter will be writing about this for a forthcoming volume on Broadcasting Greece. Philip misses The Armageddon Factor, but brings my attention to the Greeks in Four to Doomsday, which I had missed. And I think that ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ very much is a celebrity historical in the general style of New Who, the celebrity in this case being Vesuvius itself. But Philip makes a lot of good points I shall have to consider when I return to this material.
Anyway, that should do for now.
The Ninth Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass in Science Fiction Criticism will be held from Friday 17 July to Sunday 19 July 2015.
Forgive me for I have sinned. It has been far too long since I blogged at this site. And there are things you need to know (and not just that Atlantis is back …)
First off, there will be another conference on Classics and Science Fiction, this time in the US, organized by Brett Rogers and Ben Stevens. The Once and Future Antiquity: Classical Traditions in Science Fiction takes place 27-29 March 2015. The deadline for the call for papers is 15 December 2015.
Speaking of Brett and Ben, their collection Classical Traditions in Science Fiction should be out by the end of the year (the OUP website says October 2015, but that seems to be wrong). This will be followed by Classical Tradtions in Fantasy. Meanwhile, the proceedings of the 2012 Paris-Rouen conference have come out: L’Antiquité dans l’imaginaire contemporain – Fantasy, science-fiction, fantastique, edited by Mélanie Bost-Fievet and Sandra Provini. This is an important volume, not least because it demonstrates that not all important works on Classical Reception are anglophone. Some pieces from Swords … are also starting to appear. Liz Gloyn’s and Stephe Harrop’s papers from the Hadrian’s Wall session are on Strange Horizons. And Foundation 118 is mostly devoted to a special issue reprinting six papers from the conference. Fantasy author Juliet McKenna, a Classics graduate herself, has written about this issue.
I’m very pleased that there is now more material appearing in print discussing the intersection of Classics and SFF. For too long these have been conversations going around – now finally the products of these conversations are starting to appear, and we can point people making enquiries of us at actual bibliography.
There are a few reports of the conference that I haven’t mentioned: Liz Bourke in Strange Horizons, Chris Pak in the SFRA Review, and myself and Cat Wilson in Foundation 116. I also talked about the conference on Classics Confidential.
Back in October there was a talk in Leeds on Greece and Rome in Star Trek. The audio should become available soon. Other interesting pieces on this blog include Malcolm Heath on the location of Atlantis, Bev Scott on George Lucas (not yet uploaded), and Eleanor OKell on The Hunger Games.
I shall leave you with notice of a conference that may be of interest to readers of this blog: Sideways in Time: Alternate History and Counterfactual Narratives. The CFP for this also closes on 15 December.
A special BSFA Lecture will be given at Loncon 3 by Dr Paula James (Open Unversity), and is entitled ‘Pygmalion’s Statue and her Synthetic Sisters: The Perfect Woman on Screen′. The lecture will be given at 20.00 on Saturday August 16th, the ExCel Centre, London Docklands. The lecture is open to any member of Loncon 3.