Going Global: Steampunk and Transnational Cultures Conference

Going Global: Steampunk and Transnational Cultures – The Asylum Steampunk Festival Conference

Bishop Grosseteste University, 25th August 2018

This August Bank Holiday weekend will see the tenth annual Asylum Steampunk Festival hit Lincoln, with four days of fantastic events across eighteen venues across the city. Supernatural Cities and the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature at the University of Portsmouth have organised a conference as part of the packed programme celebrating a decade of Europe’s largest steampunk festival.

Going Global: Steampunk and Transnational Cultures will explore steampunk on the global scale, with nine papers across three panel discussions on Saturday 25th August. Contributors include Supernatural Cities’ own Eilís Phillips, author and Portsmouth DarkFest conspirator William Sutton. The conference will also feature a keynote from Yomi Ayeni, an award-winning transmedia producer, author, film maker, and digital strategist.

Since the creation of the Asylum Festival, steampunk has grown in popularity, expanding from its initial literary forms and subcultural communities to infiltrate and inform many areas of popular culture and mass media. As it has been adopted and adapted around the world, so it has started to shift away from its Anglocentric, (neo-)Victorian roots. This has led to the rise of vibrant and diverse steampunk cultures and communities across the globe.

This conference will explore the nature of what has become a worldwide phenomenon. It will reflect on the factors that have encouraged steampunk’s global development, and examine the ways in which steampunk has been appropriated and inflected by countries and cultures across the planet.

All of the talks will take place in the The Robert Hardy Building, and will be open to Asylum Festival wristband holders – for more details on tickets for the festival, click here.

Going Global: Steampunk and Transnational Cultures – Programme

25th August 2018
The Robert Hardy Building, Longdales Rd, Lincoln LN1 3DY

Panel 1: From Victorians to Neo-Victorians

10:15 am – 11:45 am

  • Eilis Phillips (University of Portsmouth) – ‘“Masts of Gossamer, Funnels of Gauze”: Finding Steampunk in Nineteenth-Century Sailing Folklore’
  • Alex Anthony-Lewczuk (University of Lincoln) – ‘Proto-Science Fiction: Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and the Fundamentals of Contemporary Science Fiction’
  • William Sutton (University of Portsmouth) – ‘Tales of Three Tunnels: Biology of the Metropolis and Victori-bethan Anxiety’

Keynote: Yomi Ayeni

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Panel 2: Transnational Steampunk

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

  • Jeneviere Van-Veda (Open University) – ‘The Anachronism of a Steampunk Geisha?: Transnational Time Travelling’
  • Elizabeth Headrick (Texas Woman’s University) – ‘Airship Over the Horizon: Imperialism, Globalization and Technology in Michael Moorcock’s Warlord of the Air’
  • Helena Esser (Birkbeck College, University of London) – ‘Grufties, Goggles, Gramophones: Steampunk in Germany’

Panel 3: Steampunk Politics

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

  • Kurian T. Peter (University of British Columbia) – ‘A Therapeutic Mangle of History: Towards a Politics of Reconciliation in Arjun Raj Gaind’s Empire of Blood’
  • Claire Nally (University of Northumbria) – ‘Post-Feminism and Romance in Steampunk Fiction’
  • Catherine Redpath (University of Lincoln) – ‘Corsets, Contraptions and Convergences: Towards a Politics of the Apolitical in Steampunk’

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