Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An Abstract, a YA Update, and What I'm Reading this Week

Well hello there!
I am headed to Orlando tomorrow to present a paper of mine at the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts' annual conference! I am beyond excited (and also a smidge nervous...).  In case you are VERY interested, the abstract is below the jump. 
I have also been working on my independent project, and I have created an annotated bibliography of seventeen titles from which I have been working on my paper. I will be in Orlando for a whole week, and when I'm not at the conference I plan on putting lots of work into the YA project.
I have started reading The Hunger Games for my YA lit class. So far, I like the book and I'm excited to work my way through the trilogy. I think I'm also going to read Twilight again soon. I covered Lunacon this weekend for IHogeek.com and there should be a few posts up about that this week. While we were there we ended up winning a bunch of books from a book raffle, which is super exciting to me. I donated a bunch, and then distributed most of the rest among friends and family. I love gifting books, so this made me immensely happy. Alright I have to get back to preparing for the conference, but I will be back with more this weekend!
As my favorite toddler once said:
"Au revoir! Filet Mignon!"

Do Androids Dream of Robotic Actors? An Examination of the Delay Between the Twin Golden Ages of Sci-Fi and Broadway, and the Dawn of the Mega-SF-Musical
Science Fiction has always highlighted both our greatest fears and our greatest hopes. In the 20th century, as America went through wars, depression, revolutions, and technological innovation, the genre morphed and mutated to reveal the ever-changing dreams and nightmares of our conscience. Similarly, the Broadway musical has undergone almost as many changes in the Modern era. Both mediums are highly reflective of their environments, making constant change essential.  The popularity of the two forms is apparent in their simultaneous “Golden Ages” in the middle of the 20th century.  
SF and musicals were both plentiful in the ‘40s and ‘50s, so it should follow that there is an abundance of SF theatre from this time.  However, the genre did not begin to have a presence on stages anywhere until the late 1970s, and had no staying power until the 1980s. This paper examines the two forms in the context of American history, wherein the reasons for this lag in communion become clear.
I dissect SF and Broadway historically and thematically, and look at how they changed between the dawn of the “Golden Age” and the early 1980s.  I pay special attention to transitions which Science Fiction and Broadway underwent between the 1960s-1970s, and show how various aspects changed before the two forms came together.  Finally, I analyze the SF musicals from the 1980s to understand why it worked on stage during this era.
While Golden Age musicals idealized the world, celebrating America’s past even when its present was bleak, SF examined possibilities society was afraid to admit existed. Once the essential question shifted from technological possibility to moral implications of technology, the genre began examining humanity’s relationship to the unknown. Similarly, it wasn’t until musicals placed focus on character over other elements that Broadway was prepared to handle similar questions.

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