From March 31st through April 1st, 2005, the School of Literature, Communication and Culture (LCC) hosted a two-day symposium in which participants explored the meaning of monstrous bodies in science, fiction, and culture.
Our special guests of honor were two leading figures in fantastic art and scholarship: science fiction author Paul di Filippo and popular culture expert Rhonda Wilcox. Di Filippo read "Harsh Oases," an original science fiction story set in the Ribofunk Universe, written for the Monstrous Bodies symposium, and Pop culture scholar and Buffy the Vampire Slayer expert Rhonda Wilcox closed the symposium with “‘Set on This Earth as a Bubble’: Word as Flesh in the Dark Seasons of Buffy."
Additionally, the Monstrous Bodies symposium featured student research on and creative writing in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the gothic. The symposium also included art and film exhibits as well as presentations by local scholars, science fiction writers, editors, publishers, and artists from Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late-night cartoon programming for adult audiences. See the full program.
The symposium celebrated both LCC’s ongoing commitment to the study of the fantastic in the arts and, more specifically, the pivotal role that LCC Professor Emeritus Irving F. “Bud” Foote played in shaping this commitment. Foote taught the first accredited science fiction class at Tech in the early 1970s and over the course of the next two decades brought a number of science fiction writers to Tech including Frederik Pohl, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, and Kim Stanley Robinson. Upon his retirement in 1997 Foote donated 8000 science fiction-related items to the Georgia Tech Library, and the Bud Foote Science Fiction Collection was born. The Monstrous Bodies symposium honors Foote's work by showing how students and faculty alike continue to explore the fantastic in the arts at Georgia Tech.
The entire symposium was captured on digital video, and proceedings will appear online in the near future.