- It gave me an excuse to teach Ann Leckie, Tobias S. Buckell, and Star Wars.
- The course was marked as "American literature," so I had to stick with U.S.-American writers. I snuck some other stuff in, though.
- It was a subject that I particularly loved (but, as I discovered, which scholars had largely ignored up to that point).
obituary I wrote for her in the Mountain Democrat, the local newspaper for Placerville, California. One thing that I often mention about my grandmother is the impact she had on me as a geek. While I certainly watched a lot of genre programming as a kid,[1. Let's be real. A lot of programming for kids is genre TV by default. G.I. Joe and TMNT are both SF/F. Dinosaurs is fantasy. Winnie the Pooh is fantasy. Most Disney films are fantasy. DuckTales is SF/F. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and The Secret World of Alex Mac and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are SF/F. A lot of programming for kids also falls under the mystery umbrella. I just don't think I ever thought about genre when I was a kid. Looking back? It almost seems inevitable that kids born in the 80s and 90s would turn out to be unintentional SF/F nerds in the 2010s.] there are two things that led to my passion for SF/F (and related genres):
- My mother giving me VHS tapes of Star Wars. The ones with Leonard Maltin's interviews with George Lucas at the front.
- My grandmother's insistence that I watch certain programs.
What Was a Wiki, and Why Do I Care? A Short and Usable History of Wikis." This is one of the readings for my class on digital rhetoric, and it serves as a handy introduction to the invention of wikis, the reactions to them in the "ancient times," and some of the key concerns about their impact on knowledge production. Basically, it's some nerd shhhhh. That said, it has got me thinking a lot about the role of wikis in our culture and, more importantly, just how much has changed since I was a kid. While there are still people running about saying you should never use wikis, for the most part, even academics have softened on them. A lot of you probably remember when that wasn't the case. Hell, I remember when that wasn't the case for me as a teacher. Mind you, I was never the type to outright fail a student for using Wikipedia, but I did strip away points. Read More
- The use of SF in higher education 17 Aug 2019, Saturday 15:00 - 15:50, Wicklow Room-2 (CCD) Professors from different disciplines discuss the possible uses of speculative fiction as a tool for teaching. From humanities to sciences via legal studies, how have academics used SFF in the classroom in the past, and how can we dream of speculative fiction – and the technology it posits! – being used in future? Panelists: Mary Anne Mohanraj (M), Nora E. Derrington, David DeGraff, Dr. Shaun Duke, Corry L. Lee Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Literary Beer: Dr Shaun Duke 17 Aug 2019, Saturday 17:00 - 17:50, Liffey-A (Fan Bar) (CCD) Basically, you can come talk to me while having a beer, water, or air. For 50 minutes. So please come say hello. Please!
- Academics and acolytes: learning in SFF worlds 18 Aug 2019, Sunday 12:30 - 13:20, Odeon 4 (Point Square Dublin) Whether they’re apprenticed to an assassin, a grunt in basic training, downloading knowledge from an online academy, or learning spells from wizardly professors, characters often need to gain skills and qualifications of some kind. How and when they do this is an important element of worldbuilding and there are endless options. What does it tell us about the Discworld that wizards attend university and witches are apprentices? How does Starfleet Academy differ from the Imperial Academy? From Hogwarts to Brakebills to the Oha Coven, how does magical instruction differ? Panelists: Dr. Shaun Duke (M), Karen Simpson Nikakis, Prof. Kenneth Schneyer, Ali Baker
- Fan podcasts 18 Aug 2019, Sunday 15:30 - 16:20, Odeon 5 (Point Square Dublin) Podcasts have become a popular way to talk about and hear about our fannish favourites, share the latest theories and plot developments, and find new things to love. Our panelists discuss the challenges and delights of podcasting, and help you find new podcasts to check out. Panelists: Heather Rose Jones (M), Alexandra Rowland, Dr. Shaun Duke, Jonathan Strahan, Jen Zink
Millennials and their perceived lack of effort in the job market, Brett Cenkus argues that our generation is not so much lazy as disinterested in the way things used to be. Abusive job environments, low pay, low stimulation -- these are all reasons he cites for this change in perspective. It's an interesting article, though I think Cenkus is a bit optimistic about how employers can change this dynamic. Why? Read More