Call for Applications (Unpaid Position): SFRA Outreach Officer

UPDATE: The call for the SFRA outreach officer has been extended for another week. If you are interested, let me know! The new deadline is Thursday, March 31.

During our bylaw revisions last year we created a number of positions to help modernize the SFRA Executive Committee, as well as more clearly delineate responsibilities and roles. In that spirit, we would like to invite applications for the unpaid, volunteer position of SFRA Outreach Officer.

Position Description:

The outreach officer will organize, in coordination with the vice president, the various internet and social media outlets, in order to publicize and further the goals and mission of the organization. They will also be responsible for seeking opportunities for collaboration and outreach with other scholarly organizations, especially organizations that serve populations that have historically been underrepresented in SFRA. The outreach officer will be appointed by the Executive Committee and will serve a three-year term, which can be terminated by either the outreach officer or the Executive Committee. The outreach officer shall not be a member of the Executive Committee.

If you have questions about the position, please, reach out — and we would love to see your application. If you are interested in serving as the next outreach officer for the organization, please send a (short!) letter of interest and a CV to by March 15, 2022.

Open Call for Nominations: 2021 SFRA Innovative Research Award

The Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) invites nominations for the 2021 Innovative Research Award. The award is announced annually at the SFRA conference and is awarded to the writer (or writers) of the year’s best critical essay-length work published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Formerly known as the Pioneer Award, the SFRA Innovative Research Award was renamed in 2019 following lengthy discussions and a community vote. For a list of past winners: The SFRA Innovative Research Award.

Please note (as discussed at last year’s business meeting) this year we will be piloting a new process for this award. Only peer-reviewed journal articles are eligible for submission. A maximum of two submissions is welcomed per person, and it is possible to self-nominate. Past winners will not be considered for this award, so please refer to the list of winners before submitting your nomination if you believe the author has won in the past. All nominations will remain anonymous.

For all inquiries or to submit a nomination, please send the author’s name, title of article and the journal and pages in which the article appeared to the committee chair Alison Sperling at Please also include the article as an attachment. The deadline for submissions is February 24, 2022.

Announcing the SFRA Support a New Scholar Awardee for 2022-23

Anastasia Klimchynskaya photographed at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge on November 6, 2020. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Anastasia Klimchynskaya photographed at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge on November 6, 2020. (Photo by Jason Smith)

The SFRA is delighted to announce that Dr. Anastasia Klimchynskaya is the winner of the Support a New Scholar Award. Congratulations, Dr. Klimchynskaya!

Dr. Klimchynskaya is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago. Her work prioritizes an interdisciplinary approach that combines literary study, the cultural history of science, and material culture, and is interested in interrogating the relations between technoscientific reality, literary narratives, and the cultural imagination. Her current project focuses on the emergence of science fiction in the nineteenth century, taking a capacious approach to French, British, and American science fiction texts as products not just of discrete scientific practices or ideas, but of the paradigms and conceptual frameworks that these practices and discoveries existed within and produced.

She is also passionate about sharing her love of science fiction and bringing an understanding of its power, possibilities, and relevance to students in the classroom and the broader public outside the academy. Since 2015, she has been on the programming staff of Philcon, the Philadelphia Science Fiction Conference, and has taught courses on science fiction at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and the Rosenbach Library and Museum – including “Living in a Science Fiction World,” a course that examined contemporary social, technological, political, and ethical issues through the lens of science fiction.

Coronavirus News

Dear SFRA,

Unfortunately, I must write you today with the news that our planned meeting for July 2020 has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The executive committee would like to thank the conference’s local organizers, Rebekah Sheldon and De Witt Douglas Kilgore, for all their hard work in organizing this conference, and offer them the regret of the entire organization that we will not be able to meet with them at IU this year.

In terms of the financial health of SFRA, we want you to know that the outlook for the organization as a result of this cancellation is not dire; we will not directly lose any money on the canceled conference itself. Given that historically our membership renewals congregate tightly around conference registration, however, we do anticipate a rather dramatic decline in member numbers for this year. We ask — and, we expect, will certainly ask again this summer and fall — that, if you are able, that you please consider renewing your membership with SFRA despite this cancellation.

Either way, we wish you all good health, safety, and security wherever you are in these strange times.

Gerry Canavan
SFRA President


SFRA Bylaws Revision

Dear SFRA Members,

As promised, on October 4th, you will be sent a link to a ballot on the proposed revisions to the bylaws. As you may recall, the proposal is to create staggered terms for the executive committee, by ending the current Vice President and Treasurer’s terms one year early and thus having elections for those two offices in 2018, elections for President and Secretary in 2019, no elections in 2020 (because the then-current officers would be about to commence their second and third years in office), etc. See the full text of the proposal in the latest Review.

Voting will open on 4 October 2017 and will remain open until November 2.

If this change is approved, the following sections of the bylaws would read thus:

Article V, Section 1: The officers of the association shall be chosen by the membership. There shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer. They shall take office on January 1 of the year succeeding their election. The terms of office shall be staggered, such that in any given year up to two officers may be newly elected to their positions.

Article VI, section 1: Elections shall be held for three-year terms. The president and secretary will be elected in 2019 (to serve from January 2020 through December 2022) and every three years thereafter. The vice president and treasurer will be elected in 2018 (to serve from January 2019 through December 2021) and every three years thereafter.

Article VI, section 3: In each year in which elections are required, the Executive Committee shall establish a time and date by which ballots for the election of officers must be received, which date shall be known as the election date.

Jenni Halpin
SFRA Secretary

Michael Levy

The SFRA is saddened to note the passing of past President Michael Levy. Mike was an important member of the Association, having served not only as President but as Vice President and organizer or co-organizer of several SFRA conferences. In 2007 he was awarded SFRA’s Thomas D. Clareson Award for service to the field of science fiction studies. He was a respected scholar, reviewer, and editor, and an important mentor to many in the field. We will miss his generous contributions and his unfailing kindness.