Talk:Science fiction studies

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hasty deletion[edit]

This page should not be deleted; this is a significant academic field with about half a dozen journals, scores of faculty around the world, several societies, and so on. --lquilter 01:10, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Considering the comment you left on my talk page, and the fact that you have since added content, I'll remove the db template. Thanks for talking to me about this, and sorry for the misunderstanding. Hersfold (talk|work) 01:30, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

what the article needs[edit]

Basically this is a stub right now and needs a lot of work. Here are some basic ideas for people to work on (not to limit anyone to these ideas of course):

  • The history of the discipline is actually really interesting, coming in as an "outsider" discipline, and involving significantly more overlap between creators (esp. writesr), industry (editors & publishers), academics, and fans than in most fields. For instance discussion of the scholarsly tracks at cons like WisCon is a good example.
  • Someone needs to pull out the list of programs in the field (Liverpool...where else?)
  • We need a list of major research resources, such as archives (Liverpool...), research DBs (IFSDB), etc.
  • Also the bibliography of significant works is a little ... idiosyncratic right now, based primarily on my own view of the field.
  • The list of significant early scholars is similarly idiosyncratic.
  • More wikifying of links to relevant topics like fandom etc.
  • Obviously filling in the references.

--lquilter 01:56, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

SF studies and the New Wave?[edit]

I think it's significant that sf studies exploded along with the New Wave, which moved sf away from its pulp roots (or at least the participants thought so at the time!). There are probably some good sources on this out there. - PKM 21:51, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Rating and stuff[edit]

I have rated this as start class (it's certainly way more than a stub!)

I added a bunch of links and Robert Scholes's Structural Fabulation. Does Peter Nicholl's Science Fiction at Large belong on the list? My gut says maybe - not sure of its importance - but I am not an academic, just another semigafiated sercon fan. - PKM 03:59, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

More scholars and critics, plus the evolution of academic study[edit]

Three pioneers, in chronological order:

  • J. O. Bailey (Pilgrims Through Space and Time, 1947; his 1934 dissertation)
  • Everett F. Bleiler (The Checklist of Fantastic Literature, 1948)
  • Marjorie Hope Nicholson (Voyages to the Moon, 1948)

I confess I'd not thought of Scarborough as a scholar of science fiction, though I found her work on supernatural fantasy very useful when doing my dissertation on that subject thirty-some years ago. I jogged my aging memory by looking up the reprint of The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction on Amazon and confirmed that it is indeed focused on what the title says. ("Supernatural science" refers, if I recall correctly, to psychic-detective stories of the Algernon Blackwood kind.) Scarborough may be an ancestor of SF scholarship mainly in the sense that she paid attention to (and took seriously) one of varieties of fantastic literature, but Bailey and Nicholson remain the academic grandparents of the category.

The most useful description of the development of SF scholarship is probably Gary Wolfe's essay and annnotated bibliography in Anatomy of Wonder, 5th ed.

Sourcing the 1950s-and-later history of SF in the academy might be a little trickier: I know it because I'm part of the first generation to study SF/F in grad school in the 1960s/70s and/or get a doctorate in it (Gary Wolfe and David Hartwell are also part of this cohort), but my personal knowledge amounts to "original research," so I'll have to see if anyone has published an account. (I have a vague memory of some such thing, but it's been a while since I had to document this sort of information.) I recall that Sam Moskowitz, Jack Williamson, Mark Hillegas, Tom Clareson, and later James Gunn all had roles. If I can locate my ancient, buried SFRA stuff, I can probably name names until the cows come home. RLetson 21:01, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Later: Just found part of the answer to the matter just above in the "SF in the Classroom" entry in the Clute & Nicholls Encyclopedia, which credits Sam Moskowitz as teaching "what was almost certainly the first sf course in the USA to be given through a college" (Science Fiction Writing, non-credit, at CCNY in 1953) and Mark Hillegas and H. Bruce Franklin as the first to offer regular courses (Colgate and Stanford respectively, in 1961). Jack Williamson also produced a couple of slim volumes about the state of the teaching of SF in the 1970s--I may have those in the library-midden somewhere.RLetson 21:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
An editorial in Science Fiction Studies described the early history of SF-crit back in November 1996. Anville 23:39, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Edits and additions[edit]

Fixed the Scarborough material; cut the misattribution of coining of "science fiction" (Jessesword says it was T. O'Connor Sloane, not Gernsback; and the point isn't needed here anyway); added a few words about fannish commentary (more is needed about amateur scholarship); added early critical/scholarly books on SF; added earliest college courses. RLetson 06:39, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Importance: Top??[edit]

You can't understand science fiction without knowing about the academic study of it? That really doesn't sound right. Avt tor 11:35, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Dunno why it's there, other than someone added the tag. I guess this is one of those let-the-consensus-rule things. I wouldn't say that it implies one can't understand SF outside academic study--maybe just that it's at the top level in the project. But large parts of Wiki culture remain a mystery to me. (I will assert, however, that if more editors were familiar with the scholarship, academic and fannish, there would be less flailing around with definitions, history, subgenres, and so on.) RLetson 23:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

cites for "significant"[edit]

A user posted several "NPOV" tags on the "significant X" sections yesterday. I took them off, because (a) s/he didn't actually start the referenced discussion so didn't give fellow editors much to go on, and (b) the better tag is {{unreferenced}} but I don't have time at the moment to chase down appropriate refs, and prefer not to do drive-by tagging. But, it's a fair point, so I'm raising it here; if the user returns perhaps s/he can add to the discussion and explain the sorts of sources they have in mind, and what sorts of similar sources might be appropriate. A couple of leads to get started on referencing: (1) on the collections, those listed are, I believe, the largest archives/libraries with SF collections; (2) on the journals, those listed are the ones with the largest circulation & library holdings; (3) on the scholars, I've added from personal knowledge those who have written the most significant references and/or had foundational roles in the field -- but this section certainly could use some work. I suggest that some research into the history of the discipline is in order; I seem to recall that there has actually been an article on this topic in SF Studies at some point. I'll get back to this when I can; in the meantime, good luck to anyone else taking it on. --Lquilter (talk) 21:17, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

It is unclear to me that these sections can/should be placed into an article at all because of the inherrent difficulty of identifying non-subjective criteria to proclaim something "significant". And without sources, the selection are merely personal opinion, hence the NPOV tags. -- The Red Pen of Doom 02:20, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
How would you propose to draft an article on a relatively young academic field? These seem to me to be some basic facts about a field, but I'd love to hear other ideas. --Lquilter (talk) 00:02, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
How would we write an article about a young academic field? The same way we write about any other subject: using what reliable sources have published about the topic; not selecting a bunch of random items that Wikipedia editors decide to call "significant" the throw into a list. -- The Red Pen of Doom 01:54, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I too can cite sources & throw out a lot of sarcasm. Why don't you suggest an outline or an example of the sort of article you have in mind, or something else positively useful. --Lquilter (talk) 04:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC)