Molly Cobb gained her PhD in 2016 from the University of Liverpool, UK, where she has taught on Science Fiction and nineteenth through early twenty-first century American Literature. Her research focuses on representations of psychology and identity in science fiction and in mid-twentieth century American fiction more generally. Her book on psychology and identity in the works of Alfred Bester is forthcoming with Routledge in 2022. She is currently an Affiliate Member of the Olaf Stapledon Centre for Speculative Futures.
Kerry Dodd completed his PhD at Lancaster University, UK. His thesis, entitled “The Archaeological Weird: Excavating the Non-human,” examined the intersection between archaeology and Weird fiction. Focusing on the cultural production of the artefact encounter, his thesis explored how archaeological framings can offer a re-conceptualisation of object ontology through the Weird. He is currently working on a monograph that explores the representation of materiality and objects in archaeological fiction. Kerry also works more widely in the fields of: Science Fiction (particularly Cosmic Horror and Cyberpunk), the Gothic, and glitch aesthetics.
Matthew J. Elder is a final-year PhD candidate and tutor at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. His research interests include contemporary fantasy literature, magic, and identity construction. Sacrifice in long-form contemporary fantasy is the subject of his doctoral research. He finds hope in the notion that exploring impossible worlds might help make our own world better.
Derek Johnston is Lecturer in Broadcast at Queen's University Belfast. His research covers a range of fantastic genres, with his PhD examining the origins of British television Science Fiction (1936-1955), while his first monograph (Haunted Seasons: Television Ghost Stories for Christmas and Horror for Halloween) examined the history of seasonal Horror and how it was expressed in television and radio. Articles and book chapters have covered ghosts and television, Gothic television, American Horror Story, The Ghost Story for Christmas, music in Survivors and other topics. He is a member of the International Gothic Association, and the International Association for Media and History, and was a founder member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies Horror Studies Special Interest Group.
Chris Hussey is a final year, part-time PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, UK, exploring real and literary place in Children's Literature. His research interests focus on aspects of space, place, and identity, in both realist and fantastic texts, and particularly within the writing of China Miéville. Such interests extend to examining works of military Science Fiction, narratives involving Alternative Histories and timelines, Magical Realism texts, and more broadly the genre of Horror.
Ciarán Kavanagh has recently finished his PhD, “Refiguring Reader-Response: Theorising Experience in Postmodern Fiction”, which he completed under the supervision of Dr Alan Gibbs in University College Cork. His research is oriented around reader-response theory, through which he focuses on the variability of reading experiences in contemporary Anglophone literature. His current research project concerns the idea of seriousness in the lay and critical cultures of science fiction, and the effect of this concern on experiences and interpretations of SF texts. Recent publications include “Categorically Grotesque: Ballard, Bodies and Genre in Crash” in De Gruyter Open Cultural Studies and “Gaze into the Abyme: Navigating the Unnarrated in Ubik" in Messengers from the Stars.
Charul (Chuckie) Palmer-Patel started organising the Fantastika conferences in 2013 at Lancaster University, UK, where she completed her PhD in 2017. She expanded the conference to journal form in 2016 in the hopes of maintaining and expanding the Fantastika community after moving back to Canada. Her first monograph, The Shape of Fantasy: Investigating the Structure of American Heroic Epic Fantasy (Routledge, 2020) investigates the narrative structures of Epic Fantasy, incorporating ideas from science, philosophy, and literary theory. Her next research project, Mothers, Maternities, and Matriarchs takes an intersectional approaching to examining systems of power and oppression in American Fantasy. Visit doc-fantasy.com for details.
Samuel Valentine is a Web Designer, Graphic Designer, and Typesetter based in the North of England. Projects include design for Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster University, numerous North West businesses and personal projects within the game design and tabletop RPG fields. Contact Sam on Twitter @samjvalentine.
Ruth-Anne Walbank is an MA student at Lancaster University, UK, exploring the interconnections of literature, theology, and the Gothic in her dissertation on hellscapes of the long nineteenth century, supervised by Dr Andrew Tate. Her paper on ‘Gender, Space, and #MeToo’ was highly commended in the Global Undergraduate Awards 2020 and has previously published papers on monstrosity and the Gothic. She also co-founded the creative writing programme, the Literary Lancashire Award, and has organised conferences such as ‘New Thinking for New Times’ and ‘Beyond 6 Characteristics: EDI for the Modern University'. For more details about Ruth's work, visit her online portfolio.
Current Board of Advisers (in alphabetical order)
Xavier Aldana Reyes