UBC MACL Conference 2023

Events with K.A. Wiggins

31 May 2023

UBC MACL Presents: (Re)Imagining Tomorrow Graduate Conference

Date: Friday-Saturday, June 23-24, 2023

Time: 3-5 pm Friday (1-9 pm Friday, 8:30-6pm Saturday)

Location: UBC Vancouver, Henry Angus Building (Sauder)

Type: TED-style Conference Talks

Honoured to have had my proposal accepted for this exciting two-day conference put together by the University of British Columbia Master’s of Arts in Children’s Literature & iSchool programs.

(Re)Imagining Tomorrow: Agency and Possibility in Literature and Media for Children and Young Adults Graduate Student Conference in Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Media & Culture features creative presentations on Friday, June 23 and academic topics on Saturday, June 24, with two keynotes and over 40 stunningly diverse presenters from around the world.

I’ll be presenting “After ‘The End’: Building Brighter Futures in Apocalyptic, Dystopian & Speculative YA” based on the Threads of Dreams series (specifically the final chapters of Burn the Skies) on Friday, June 23 during the 3-5 pm themed programming block “The Good, The Bad, and The Imaginary: Utopias and Dystopias in Speculative Fiction.”

While most of the Threads of Dreams series leans into its gothic-dystopian and post-apocalyptic premise and conflict, the thing about starting off a book/series with a dystopian setting is that characters trying to “save the world” means they end up envisioning and building something better by the end, so you actually have to figure out some kind of utopian vision along the way. ^_^;

So there are a few points (Nine Peaks in Black the Tides, and to a greater extent, Regen City in Burn the Skies and part 3 of Spectres of the Old World) where community and city building attempt utopianism, and that’s what I’ll be briefly presenting from/on—apocalyptic, dystopian, and utopian futures in children’s & YA literature and how they illustrate better possibilities, expose and bring catharsis to current realities, and confront trauma.

If delving deep into themes, theory, worldbuilding, etc. in children’s & teen lit sounds like your kind of good time, check out the full schedule here and/or in the official program(PDF).

You can also find the official slide deck with notes/reference links and the extended edition slide deck with bonus content cover additional themes and topics here!)