Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lectures and Programs: American Culture and the Final Frontier at Hampden-Sydney College

On Monday, March the 21st, 2011, Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia will be hosting me for a new JKM genre lecture entitled Space: 2011: American Culture and the Final Frontier. 

The lecture will survey and analyze science fiction television (particularly of the space opera variety) from the late 1950s up through today, or from The Twilight Zone through SGU, to put it another way.  

The focus will be on the ways that space programs change, decade to decade, based on the cultural, political, and international events happening in the world.  In other words, I'll be looking at the real-life context of the programs, and explaining how popular series exploited these contexts or were otherwise impacted by them.

Among the TV series discussed will be Lost in Space, Star Trek, Space:1999, Battlestar Galactica, V, Farscape, Firefly, and many more.

I'm really looking forward to visiting the campus, meeting with  the students of Hampden-Sydney College, and discussing a subject that I truly adore.

Space: 2011: American Culture and the Final Frontier will be open to everyone, not just students and faculty, so if you happen to be in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia on March 21st, I hope you'll attend.   The program begins at 4:30 pm sharp, in the Gilmer Room, 019.   

And I'll not only be discussing science fiction television with the students, I'll also be selling and signing copies of my books too, so I hope to see you there, if you can swing it.

Also -- since Joel is a little older now and ready to see the world -- I'm  jumping  back on the university/convention/library lecture circuit, starting with this exciting engagement in Virginia.   If  you or your university want to retain me for one of my horror or science fiction movies or TV lectures, just contact me by e-mail and we'll see what we can arrange.

I'll post more about the Hampden-Sydney College engagement and my next sci-fi seminar soon.


  1. Congratulations and what a challenging and intelligent course to really mine.

    I wish I could attend.

    Anyway, this is a great update and I'm thrilled to here it.

    It will really force analytical thought on the part of the students and I wish I could be part of it.

    All the best,

  2. Hi SFF:

    I wish you could be there as well, my friend.

    I'm really excited about the lecture, and spending the day dropping in on classes, etc. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and hopefully a very thought-provoking talk.

    All my best,

  3. It would be like a dream come true for me to attend this.

  4. I'm with SFF and Pete on this. I'd love to attend this -- any chance this can be turned into a podcast? Congrats on jumping back into the lecture circuit, John. This. Sounds. Awesome.

  5. Hi Peter and Le0pard13:

    Thank you so much for those supportive and lovely thoughts abut the upcoming lecture. I'd love to see both of you there, but I also know that geographically-speaking, it's not really possible.

    I'm really enthused to get back on the lecture circuit, so who knows...I may be coming to a university, convention or college near you soon.

    I'd love to get into podcasting, and perhaps test the waters a bit. I've actually been thinking about a kind of visual blogging using green-screens, where I analyze a movie and reference real shots and scenes from the film in the process. The only problem is that I'd have to do only public domain movies. I've thought about looking at Dementia 13 and Carnival of Souls and Night of the Living Dead this way, but I still have a way to go developing a script and a visual plan for bringing the most out of the films.

    Podcasting might be better...

    Thanks, my friends,


  6. Anonymous4:10 PM

    Do certainly keep us appraised as to your itinerary. I'd love to come out if you end up in my neck of the wood.

    Best of luck! (and I like the podcasting ideas well!)

  7. Hi woodchuckgod. I definitely will keep everyone appraised of my itinerary. I'd love to meet you!

    I'm thinking more and more about podcasting these talks, although that may kill my marketability! :)

    Thank you for the supportive comment,