Join us to discuss Lewis Call’s new book, BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. Lewis Call will be joined by Jane Lehr in conversation.
This is a history of the decades-long love affair between a powerful alternative sexuality called BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) and an innovative narrative genre called science fiction and fantasy (SF&F). The book shows how SF&F provides easy access to the language, symbols, rituals and ethics of BDSM. Science fiction and fantasy offer strikingly positive representations of BDSM, while the marginal status of SF&F ensures that these representations will not normalize BDSM out of existence. These sympathetic yet subversive representations encourage audiences to view BDSM as an ethical sexuality, while simultaneously permitting BDSM to retain its transgressive identity. This book explores representations of BDSM in the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, in the novels and short stories that Samuel Delany and James Tiptree wrote between the 1960s and 1980s, and in the television shows of the 1990s and 2000s: Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse.
Read the book’s introductory chapter.
There will be plenty of time for questions! Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
About the Author
Lewis Call is an associate professor of History at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He is the author of Postmodern Anarchism and numerous articles about post-anarchism. He has written extensively about alternative narrative genres like science fiction and fantasy, alternative sexualities like BDSM, and the important intersections between these genres and these sexualities. He holds the Mr. Pointy Award for Buffy Studies scholarship. Read more about Lewis Call and his work.
About the Special Guest
Jane Lehr is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obsipo. She is also the Equity & Access Programs Director for the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education and the Global Engineering/Cultural Advisor for the International Computer Engineering Experience (ICEX) Program. Read more about Jane L. Lehr and her work.
Podcasts of Conversations with Cal Poly Authors and other programs are available on Kennedy Library’s Soundcloud.