Annual Sturgeon Symposium

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction is excited to announce our 2nd Annual Sturgeon Symposium (Wed. 9/20 – Fri. 9/22/2023, with an inaugural co-sponsored Feminist Futures Forum on 9/19), celebrating the 30th anniversary of Octavia Butler's groundbreaking novel, The Parable of the Sower. As KU's choice for the 2023 Common Book program, this novel is a powerful inspiration for our Symposium's theme, "Fantastic Worlds, Fraught Futures." The Symposium will feature Noël Sturgeon's presentation of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction short story and a reading from this year's winner, Samantha Mills.

More on the Sturgeon Award here

At CSSF, we celebrate the diverse community of students, scholars, creators, and fans who engage with speculative modes, challenging our conceptions of what is possible.  As Octavia Butler writes in Parable of the Sower, "All that you touch, / You Change. / All that you Change / Changes you." Butler's work reminds us of the transformative power of speculative fiction and its ability to inspire change and community in the face of the unknown. 

We welcome all individual papers, fully formed panels, and roundtables exploring "Fantastic Worlds, Fraught Futures," particularly those prioritizing collaboration and dialogue across communities, and creative work from Indian Nations, such as the Kaw, Osage, and others whose homelands KU stands. Please note that, while we will make the Symposium available virtually, virtual presenters will be grouped together; unlike 2022, we will not be organizing panels that mix virtual and in-person presentations.   

Questions? Contact

2nd Annual Sturgeon Symposium

  • Wednesday, September 20 - Friday, September 22, 2023



In 2023, we are grateful for contributions by these generous sponsors:

  • Cindy Reiss-Clark
  • KU Office of Research
  • The Hall Center for the Humanities

and the following Departments, Programs, and Centers: 

  • English
  • Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity
  • Jewish Studies
  • Slavic, German, and Eurasian Studies
  • SciFlix, Edwards Campus
  • Spencer Museum of Art
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)
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