October 23rd, 2020
To celebrate the work of science fiction author Isaac Asimov and the West Virginia University Libraries’ Isaac Asimov Collection, the University is hosting the 2020 WVU Isaac Asimov Collection Symposium, a virtual event, on Oct. 31 from 3-5:30 p.m.
Asimov (1920-1992), widely considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of the twentieth-century, earned the title of “The Great Explainer” because he made complicated subjects easy to understand.
Marking the centennial of Asimov’s birth and promoting science fiction as an academic resource, the Asimov Symposium will feature conversations and presentations from the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the University of California at Riverside, the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, WVU’s Rare Book Collection and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of English science fiction faculty.
“The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy are great examples of how science fiction can be a powerful tool for teaching, learning, and research. WVU’s own Asimov Collection is another great example,” said Jay Cole, senior advisor to the WVU President E. Gordon Gee. “With this symposium, we look forward to continuing to promote science fiction as an academic resource.”
Speakers will include:
- Andy Duncan, Professor of English at Frostburg State University and award-winning author
- James Gunn, Founder and Director Emeritus; Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and professor emeritus of English at the University of Kansas
- Kij Johnson, Associate Director, Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas
- Andrew Lippert, Special Collections Processing Archivist with the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the University of California at Riverside
- Chris McKitterick, Director, Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas
- Qazi Arka Rahman, doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in the WVU Department of English
- Stewart Plein, Curator, Rare books and Printed Resources, WVU
- Jay Cole, Senior Advisor to the President at West Virginia University, WVU Honors College Faculty
Register here to participate in the Zoom presentation.
The WVU Libraries’ Rare Book Room, located in the West Virginia and Regional History Center, preserves the Isaac Asimov Collection, one of the most complete collections of Asimov’s work in existence, with more than 1,000 items, including games, wall charts, audio and video recordings and related memorabilia.