The SWTXPCA Conference: Day Three (Conference Day Four)


The final day of the SWTXPCA conference. Sad? Yes, indeed so. But all good things must come to an end, right? Right?!

The final day of the conference proved to be slower than previous days. For one, the panels started later and ended sooner. Second, the conference folks apparently had planned some sort of trip to Sante Fe (another city in New Mexico I guess), which meant that some of the last panels were pretty much empty. I found that a bit irritating, especially since I was the only one to go see one of the panels mentioned below (and some jackass kept coming in and leaving in the middle, which is incredibly rude if you ask me). Still, the final day proved to be equally as stimulating as the two days preceding it. Below is a breakdown of the highlights.

–The day began with a fascinating panel on the atomic bomb. One of the presenters discussed the curious way in which history is defined by museums in America and Japan (the former tends to humanize the bomb, while ignoring the victims; the latter tends to focus entirely on the victims while ignoring the events that led up to the attacks).
–The second panel discussed representations of Native Americans in science fiction games and literature. The paper on the game Prey proved to be particularly interesting.
–The second to last panel of the last day of the conference placed a heavy focus on apocalyptic literature and film, particularly from Spanish and German locales. I found it interesting how the latter half of the panel discussed the problem of history and marginalized figures, something I have written about before.
–The last panel discussed myth and fairy tales. Probably the most interesting thing about the panel was the last paper presented, in which the presenter essentially ripped Disney’s new film, The Princess and the Frog, to tiny little pieces. Fun indeed!

Things I Nabbed For Free
–Journal of Cultural Geography, Volume 36, Number 3, October 2009 (special thematic issue: “Twenty years after the Wall: geographical imaginaries of ‘Europe’ during European Union enlargement”)
–Media History, Volume 15, Number 4, November 2009 (special issue: “Explorations in Modern Indian History and the Media”)
–International Journal of Heritage Studies, Volume 15, Number 6, November 2009
–Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing, Issue 60, Winter 2009
–Latino American Popular Culture (given to my friend, Afif)

Additions to the New Reading List
–White Noise by Don Delillo
–Libra by Don Delillo
–Underworld by Don Delillo
–Endzone by Don Delillo
–Barthes on consciousness
–Prey (play)
–Michael A. Sheyahshe (on Native Americans and gaming)
–Celluloid Indians by Kilpatrick
–“The Influence of Literature and Myth on Video Games”
–On the Beach by Chute
–Der Schwarm
–Kant on the power of judgment
–Horus on literature (it should please and educate)
–Hayden White on history and writers
–Dagon (watch)
–Coronos (watch)
–Walter Laird on the hijacking of culture
–Novela y Cine de ciencia ficcion espanola contemporanea: Una replexion sobre la humanidad by Cristina Sanchez-Conejero

The Plane Ride Back
I’ll preface this entire discussion with the following: airlines suck bigger than the Titanic.

First things first, I called Expedia the night before my flight to confirm that no flights had been canceled; I was told everything was a go, and so I prepped myself for the long, nine hour flight that was to come, only to find out when I arrived in Denver, Colorado that my flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Gainesville, Florida had been canceled. That’s right. I arrived in Denver at 8 PM only to be told that, hey, that two hour layover in Altanta was now seven, and there was nothing I could do about it (and this, of course, was compounded by the fact that I had a five hour layover in Denver, which left me flopping around like a fish out of water in an airport where everything was closed).

Perhaps worse than the above is the fact that my flight from Albuquerque to Denver was in a plane with propellers. Yes, you read that right. Pro-freaking-pellers. I didn’t know they still had commercial flights in anything that didn’t have two massive turbines. I was scared as hell. It’s not like propellers are made of metal or anything…or are they? Well, whatever, at 400 miles per hour a flying Canadian goose can take out a steel girder.

I ended up missing my class on Monday because of this, and now I have caught the plague. Thanks, Delta Airlines!

And that’s all I’ve got. I look forward to the next SWTXPCA. I definitely plan to attend when they are in San Antonio next year. For now, I’ll have to live with some fond memories and the awesome contacts I made.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

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