Thursday, May 8, 2014

SF, Fantasy and Legend 2009 Sessions

Just for the record, the inaugural sessions of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area included the following papers:

Queensborough Community College, 23-24 October 2009
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Panels

Saturday, 24 Oct. (8:30-10:00 AM): Panel 17, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend I
Presider: Michael A. Torregrossa (The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages)

1.  Joseph Rainone (Independent Scholar), “How a Young Man’s Invention Became the Inspiration for American Popular Science Fiction”

2.  Geoff Klock (Borough of Manhattan Community College), “The Limits of Watchmen (1986-87)”

3.  Marlene San Miguel Groner (Farmingdale State College), “Searching for the Well of Surcease: Ethical Choices in Sherri Tepper’s The Gate to Women’s Country (1988)”

Saturday, 24 Oct. (10:30 AM-12:00 PM): Panel 27, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend II
Presider: Marlene San Miguel Groner (Farmingdale State College)

1.  Michael A. Torregrossa (The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages), “America’s First Arthurian-Inspired Superhero: Quality Comics’ Merlin the Magician (1940-42)

2.  John Sexton (Bridgewater State College), “Who’s Afraid of the Beowulf? The Anglo-Saxon Hero as a Modern Movie Monster”

3.  April Selley (Union College), “Rebooting an American Myth: Nurturing Males in the 2009 Star Trek Film”

Saturday, 24 Oct. (1:30-3:30 PM): Panel 37, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend III
Presider: April Selley (Union College)

1. Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut State University), “Mr. Tompkins, the Philadelphia Experiment, and Land of the Lost (1974-77): Parallel Universes, Closed Universes, and the Dangers of Interdimensional Travel”

2. Jenny Abeles (University of Hartford), “Narratives of Credulity and Disappointment: Histories of Magic and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (2004)”

3. Derek S.McGrath (SUNY Stony Brook), “ ‘I Won’t Feel a Thing’:  Invulnerable Male Superheroes Made Emotional through Internet-Broadcasted Song in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)”

4. John Walliss (Liverpool Hope University), “The Road to Hell is Paved in D20s: Evangelical Christianity and Fantasy Role Playing Games”

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Presenter Biographies

Geoff Klock (D. Phil, Oxford University) is the author two academic books: How to Read Superhero Comics and Why and Imaginary Biographies: Misreading the Lives of the Poets. He presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of their Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit. He is an assistant professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and his name was the inspiration for villain in a work by Marvel Comics writer Matt Fraction. You can find him online at

Marlene San Miguel Groner is currently Chair of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Department at Farmingdale State College. Her prime area of specialization is twentieth-century women writers.

Derek McGrath is a third-year graduate student in the English PhD program at Stony Brook University.  He previously studied liberal arts and science at Florida Atlantic University, with interests in the themes of home and travel in nineteenth-century American literature.  His other research interests include the description of human bodies in text and film, including Henry Louis Gates’s African American Lives television series, the works of Charles Darwin, and his scheduled presentation on Dr. Horrible.  By this year, Derek will have presented twice at the Modern Language Association convention, and he has presented at the Northeast MLA conference.

Michael A. Torregrossa, current Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Chair, is a graduate of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Connecticut (Storrs). His research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, comics and comic art, medievalism, and wizards. He is founder of the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain and co-founder, with Carl James Grindley, of the Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages. Michael has presented his research at regional, national, and international conferences and has been published in Adapting the Arthurian Legend for Children: Essays on Arthurian Juvenilia, Arthuriana, The Arthuriana / Camelot Project Bibliographies, Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays, Film & History, The 1999 Film & History CD-Rom Annual, The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy, and the three most recent supplements to the Arthurian Encyclopedia.

April Selley teaches American Literature and Creative Writing in the English Department at Union College in Schenectady, New York.  She has delivered four previous papers on Star Trek at Popular Culture Conventions and has published the following articles: “ ‘I Have Been, and Ever Shall Be, Your Friend’: Star Trek, The Deerslayer and the American Romance,”  “Transcendentalism in Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The Final Farce: Demythologizing the Hero and the Quest in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (with Louise Grieco), and the entry on Star Trek in The Guide to United States Popular Culture.

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