KU News Release
Sept. 14, 2009
Contact: William J. Harris, Department of English, (785) 864-2519
Author in 'new weird' genre to give Gunn Memorial Lecture on Sept. 24
LAWRENCE — An award-winning British author of what has been called “the new weird” will be the Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lecturer at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.
Author China Miéville will speak on “Cognition as Ideology: A Dialectic of Science-Fiction Theory.” His novel “Perdido Street Station” launched a genre that combined urban fantasy with the rigorous background and treatment customarily associated with science fiction. His lecture is presented by KU’s Department of English.
Miéville is author of two other novels in the Perdido Street Station universe, “The Scar” and “Iron Council.” He also published “King Rat,” “Un Dun Lun” and “The City & the City.” His fiction has been nominated for numerous awards and has won the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award twice and the Locus Magazine award.
He also is an academic with a bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the London School of Economics. Miéville has been a candidate for the British House of Commons and has published “Between Equal Rights,” a book on Marxism and international law. He edited (with Mark Bould) “Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction.”
Miéville edited a special issue on Marxism and fantasy for the journal Historical Materialism.
The Gunn lecture, endowed by Dr. Richard W. Gunn, brother of James Gunn, emeritus professor of English and director of the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, has featured several science fiction scholars. Although it has also sponsored speakers on Shakespeare and Ralph Ellison, it has brought a distinguished group of science fiction experts to the campus beginning with scholar Fredric Jameson, the William A. Lane Professor at Duke University, and continuing with Bill Brown, the Edgar Carson Waller Professor at the University of Chicago.
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