2013 BSFA Lecture – Guest speaker Dr Louise Livesey

The BSFA Lecture was the brainchild of then British Science Fiction Association Chair Tony Cullen. Tony thought there was a space in the Eastercon schedule for a history lecture, equivalent to the George Hay Memorial Lecture, the science lecture that the Science Fiction Foundation sponsors. In the evolution of the idea it broadened out a bit, and it is now (generally) an arts/humanities lecture, with a bias towards history. The intent is to being someone that you would not expect to see at an Eastercon, or someone speaking on a subject that you would not expect to hear them talk about. Lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – and it is explained to them that this means absolutely anything they want it to mean!

The first lecture was held in 2009 at the last Bradford Eastercon, LX, and was delivered by Dr Shana Worthen (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), who spoke on ‘Visualising Time in the Middle Ages’. Since then we have had Dr Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway, University of London), and Dr Gideon Nisbet (University of Brimingham). Last Year Dr Marc Morris spoke on ‘Regime Change in England, 1066′. This was the most successful BSFA Lecture yet, drawing over a hundred people in the audience.

This year, the series branches out into the social sciences. Dr Louise Livesey is Programme Co-ordinator of the MA in Women’s Studies and Tutor in Sociology and Women’s Studies at Ruskin College Oxford. She is an activist as well as an academic, and works hard to bring the two activities together as much as possible. Mostly recently she has been working on activist/academic engagement with Oxford Brookes University’s Tale of Two Cultures conferences and speaking at events as diverse as Slutwalk Oxford, Oxford Reclaim the Night and One Billion Rising Oxford. She is also a playwright, performer and former blogger at The F Word.
Her lecture is titled ‘A Highly Political Act: speech, silence, hearing and sexual violence′. This complements other parts of the programme of EightSquared that focus upon diversity issues, and we hope for a sizable audience ready to engage with the topic. The lecture will last about thirty-five minutes, and there will then be some time for discussion afterwards, before we have to make way for Doctor Who, and then Louise can be found in the bar for a while after Doctor Who.

We’re already planning next year’s BSFA Lecture – or rather Lectures, as we hope, as well as the Easter Lecture at Satellite 4 in Glasgow, to present a BSFA Lecture at Loncon 3 in August.

The BSFA Lecture takes place on Saturday at 5.00 in Main Programme.

Tony Keen on behalf of the BSFA

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