Anthony Boynton
Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction

Gunn Center plans Sturgeon Symposium, featuring slate of notable writers

Fri, 09/23/2022

Editor's note: This story was updated Sept. 27 to reflect a change of venue for the symposium to the Hall Center for the Humanities.

LAWRENCE — The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas will hold its first Sturgeon Symposium, taking place Sept. 29-30. The symposium will feature the presentation of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best published science fiction short story and a reading from the winner.

In addition to the Sturgeon Award Ceremony, the hybrid in-person/online symposium will include scholarly panels, roundtable discussions and creative writing readings that highlight the diversity of science fiction, fantasy and the speculative arts.

This year’s theme, “Celebrating Speculative Communities,” explores how contributors from diverse groups employ speculative genres, and how these speculative productions create and influence notions of community. The theme encourages contemplation of the Gunn Center's new mission of showcasing international speculative literatures, including creative work by writers from American Indian nations, such as the Kaw, Osage and others on whose homelands KU stands. Guests include a collective of Indigenous Hawaiian authors and Andrea Rogers (Cherokee Nation), whose forthcoming collection of stories, “Man Made Monsters,” has been called by Publishers Weekly a book that “artfully tackles themes of colonialism and its effects on entire generations, for a simultaneously frightening and enthralling read.” L.L. McKinney (“A Blade So Black”), Tessa Gratton (“Lady Hotspur” and “Star Wars: The High Republic”) and Natalie Parker (the “Seafire” series) are also featured speakers.  

A number of KU faculty, staff and students will participate in the symposium panels.

The Sturgeon Symposium will take place at the Hall Center for the Humanities. The first roundtable discussion will begin at 3 p.m. Sept. 29 with the Sturgeon Award Ceremony and reading by the winning writer beginning at 7 p.m. On Sept. 30, the symposium will run from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Registration is now open, and attendance is free to the public. Registration forms and the program/schedule of events can be found on the CSSF website:

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