Gunn Center Names Drake as New Director

Professor Philip Drake will become the new director of The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF) at the University of Kansas it was announced today.  

The center was founded in 1982 by James Gunn (1923-2020), a SFWA Grandmaster. KU Professor Christopher McKitterick superseded him as Director of the CSSF in 2010. KU Professor of English Giselle Anatol replaced McKitterick in 2021, however, for the past year she also has served as Interim Director of the University of Kansas’ Hall Center of the Humanities, an appointment that now has been made permanent.

According to the press release, Professor Drake has a long-time interest in science fiction and speculative fiction. He brings that interest together with his scholarship and teaching in science and technology studies, animal studies, and environmental humanities.

GRANT TO BE CREATED. The Gunn CSSF also reported progress on the establishment of a new grant:

Last year, the Advisory Board gave input on a proposed grant for visiting KU’s considerable SFF collections that are housed in the Spencer Research Library, Watson Library, and the Gunn Center itself. We decided that it would be best to wait to launch that grant until the Gunn Center’s collections are fully catalogued. Our archivist, Mike Johnson, has been working on this project in conjunction with the Open Language Resource Center. We anticipate being able to launch the grant in the 2024-25 academic year.

VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB. The Gunn CSSF also will continue their Virtual Book Club for 2024-25. In order to broaden the audience and increase attendance and engagement, they’re asking for feedback. People are invited to fill out this survey whether or not they’ve attended a session.

STURGEON SYMPOSIUM. The 3rd annual Sturgeon Symposium will take place October 24-25 and focus on the work of Samuel Delany, who is planning to attend.  Proposals for papers are due May 31. The call for papers and other information is here.


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