19 April 2023: Challenging the past

Challenging the Past (Canon and History) in SFF Narratives

Research Question: How do contemporary practitioners respond to the established SFF canon by challenging narrow mindsets and the lack of diverse representations?

You can watch the event here:

Repair, Recuperation, Refusal: Challenging the canon by Dr Aishwarya Subramanian (Commissioned academic reponse)


Iain is an artist working primarily in acrylics and acrylic inks, and also oils, pencils, inks and digital colouring. He is currently producing artwork for the Glasgow 2024 Worldcon and has twice won the BSFA Best Artwork Award for Glasgow2024 works: “Shipbuilding Over The Clyde” in 2020, and “Glasgow Green Woman” in 2021. He is also a prolific fan artist.

Amal El-Mohtar is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry, and criticism. Her stories and poems have appeared in various magazines, anthologies,and in her own collection, The Honey Month (2010). She is co-author, with Max Gladstone, of the multiple award-winning This is How You Lose the Time War. She has been the New York Times’s science fiction and fantasy columnist since February 2018.

Harry Josephine Giles is from Orkney and lives in Leith. Her verse novel Deep Wheel Orcadia was published by Picador in October 2021 and won the 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction book of the year. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Stirling. Her show Drone debuted in the Made in Scotland Showcase at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and toured internationally. www.harryjosephine.com

T.L. Huchu’s work has appeared in ‘Lightspeed’, ‘Interzone’, ‘Analog Science Fiction & Fact’, and elsewhere. He is the winner of an Alex Award (2022), the Children’s Africana Book Award (2021), a Nommo Award for African SFF (2022, 2017), and has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize (2014) and the Grand prix de l’Imaginaire (2019). The Mystery at Dunvegan Castle, the third instalment in his Edinburgh Nights fantasy series, is due out in summer 2023. Find him @TendaiHuchu

Chair: Oliver K. Langmead

Oliver K. Langmead is a Scottish author and poet. His most recent novels are Glitterati and Birds of Paradise, and his long-form poem, Dark Star, was one of the Guardian’s Best Books of 2015. He has a Doctorate in Fine Art from the University of Glasgow, and works as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster. In late 2018 he was the writer in residence at the European Space Agency’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne.

Academic Respondent: Dr Aishwarya Subramanian

Dr Aishwarya Subramanian is an Assistant Professor of English at O.P. Jindal Global University in Haryana, India, researching children’s literature, genre, spatiality, and nationhood after empire. Her recent academic work may be found in Comparative Critical Studies (2022), The Lion and the Unicorn (2021), and Space and Culture (2020). She’s also a reviews editor at award-winning genre magazine Strange Horizons