Realms of Imagination Launch Event

Thursday December 14th, 6pm-7:30pm

Join the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic as we celebrate the launch of Realms of Imagination: Essays from the Wide Worlds of Fantasy, recently released by British Library Publishing as a companion volume to the Fantasy: Realms of Imagination exhibition.  This highly-illustrated book contains twenty essays providing a wide range of perspectives on Fantasy, its forms and its communities.  Collection editors Tanya Kirk and Matthew Sangster will be in conversation with essay authors Cristina Bacchilega, Dimitra Fimi, Sofia Samatar and Ann VanderMeer.

Cristina Bacchilega is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa and co-edits Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies. Her books include Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies (1997), Legendary Hawai‘i and the Politics of Place (2006), Fairy Tales Transformed?: 21st-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder (2013) and several co-edited anthologies. Her current projects are collaborations, one on the fantastic in the Pacific, the other on justice in contemporary fairy tales.

Dimitra Fimi is Professor of Fantasy and Children’s Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow. Both her monographs – Tolkien, Race and Cultural History (2008) and Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy (2017) – won Mythopoeic Scholarship Awards; in 2021, she received the Outstanding Contribution to Tolkien Studies Award from the Tolkien Society. She co-edits the Perspectives on Fantasy book series (Bloomsbury) with Brian Attebery and Matthew Sangster.

Tanya Kirk is Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections 1601-1900 at the British Library, and is the lead curator for the major exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination (2023-24). She previously co-curated several other literary exhibitions at the Library, including Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (2014) and Out of This World: Science Fiction (2011). She has edited five volumes of classic ghost stories drawn from the British Library’s collections, most recently Haunters at the Hearth: Eerie Tales for Christmas Nights (2022).

Sofia Samatar’s first novel, A Stranger in Olondria (2013), won the 2014 William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award. She also received the 2014 Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Her novel The Winged Histories (2016) completed the Olondria duology, and was followed by Tender: Stories (2017), Monster Portraits (with the artist Del Samatar; 2018) and The White Mosque: A Memoir (2022). She lives in Virginia and teaches at James Madison University.

Matthew Sangster is Professor of Romantic Studies, Fantasy and Cultural History and Co- Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow.  His most recent book, An Introduction to Fantasy, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2023.  His essays on Fantasy include work on Mervyn Peake, China Miéville and imaginary cities.  His other books include Living as an Author in the Romantic Period (2021), Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900 (co-edited with Jon Mee, 2022) and Remediating the 1820s (co-edited with Jon Mee, 2023).  He co-curated (with Zoë Wilcox) the British Library’s 2011 exhibition The Worlds of Mervyn Peake and is external curator for Fantasy: Realms of Imagination (2023-24).

Ann VanderMeer is the founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press. She was the editor-in-chief for Weird Tales (the oldest Fantasy magazine in the world) for five years, during which she was nominated three times for the Hugo Award, winning once. She has won the British Fantasy Award, the Locus Award and the World Fantasy Award. Anthologies she has edited or co-edited include Best American Fantasy (2007 and 2008), The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases (2011), The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Stories (2011), The Time Traveller’s Almanac (2013), Sisters of the Revolution (2015), The Big Book of Science Fiction (2016), Current Futures: A Sci-fi Ocean Anthology (2019), The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (2019), AVATARS INC. (2020) and The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (2020). She currently works as an acquiring editor at Tor.com. Ann lives with her husband Jeff and their cat Neo in Tallahassee, Florida.

You can get your free ticket via this Eventbrite page.

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