This week I was pleased to put the vexatious matter of UK’s Brexit behind me for a few days to immerse myself in the offerings of two excellent conferences in the North of England.
The first, Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil at the University of Sheffield, focussed on that stormy and inclement season two hundred years ago when Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley spent three housebound days together creating stories to pass the time; two of these developed into landmark works of the Gothic genre: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Vampyre by Polidori. Professor Jerrold Hogle, a member of the Editorial Board for both UWP’s Gothic Literary Studies and Gothic Authors series, gave a spell-binding lecture on the conflict of belief and attitudes which manifested in Frankenstein, a classic of enduring appeal and relevance even in our modern world. It leads me to wonder if our own tumultuous June will provoke a similar explosion of creativity? We can only hope!
Meanwhile, the Science Fiction Research Association’s conference was hosted at the University of Liverpool. SF researchers from all corners of the globe met to consider the themes of systems and knowledge across a broad spectrum. It was wonderful to meet the Series Editors of UWP’s newly established series, New Dimensions in Science Fiction, Pawl Frelik and Patrick Sharp, and to encounter such evident enthusiasm for their subject matter, and to discuss exciting ideas for the list.
So, if SF or Gothic is your field, please do check out our lists on www.uwp.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you with your proposals.
Head of Commissioning, University of Wales Press