I am excited to stand as a candidate for the position of SFRA Treasurer. I have been a member of the SFRA since 2015, when my graduate work on world literature shifted into the realm of science fiction studies. Since then, the SFRA has been my intellectual home and model for joyful critical discourse and steadfast community. I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Mary Kay Bray Award committee for the past two years, and I look forward to taking the reins as committee leader this year. The SFRA’s dedication to access—conferences where established and early scholars mingle, opportunities for publication circulate, and convivial inclusive networks flourish—are dear to me. Like Tom Moylan's understanding of utopia, I believe that community requires ongoing effort. As a member of the board I will work to keep making the SFRA as welcoming, exciting, and productive as possible. Outside the SFRA I am a Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh (PA, USA), where I teach interdisciplinary approaches to SF in courses like Science Fiction and Narrative and Technology. I also direct Pitt’s Digital Narrative and Interactive Design program, which combines the fields of English and Computing and Information to analyze, code, and wire story. Thanks to this position, I have experience in interdisciplinary approaches to SF, budgeting, and balancing evolving organization needs. I would be honored to serve as SFRA Treasurer, keeping us in financial health and supporting vital operations as we continue towards an ever more equitable and accessible future.
My main qualification for the post of SFRA treasurer lies in the fact that, nearly 40 years ago, I failed calculus as an undergraduate. That failure forced me to change my major from physics to literature, and transformed my lifelong affection for fantastic fiction—science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction—from a hobby into a constant element of my teaching, and ultimately, over the past decade, into a main focus of my scholarship. Had that not happened, I probably wouldn’t be a member of the SFRA today. That failure is also pertinent to the treasurer’s job because it means I lack the mathematical skills to perpetrate an effective embezzlement scheme or other fraud, so SFRA members can rest assured that their dues will be going where they’re supposed to go, and not into my pockets. I promise to be a trustworthy steward of the Association’s resources, though I cannot promise that I will be the best possible counselor for the Association’s planned investment portfolio, as that would once again require mathematical acumen far exceeding my own. Thank you for your attention.
Science Fiction Research Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization