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Steampunk: Then, Now, and Then Again

August 25, 2017 - August 27, 2017
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK

Bishop Grosseteste University
Lincoln LN1 3DY
United Kingdom

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Steampunk: Then, Now, and Then Again

Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln

25th – 27th August 2017

‘The past is a kind of future that has already happened.’

Bruce Sterling, Co-author of The Difference Engine

Despite the development of both science fiction and Neo-Victorian studies, academia has been slow to engage with the phenomena of steampunk and steampunk cultures. In part this may be because it has diversified massively from its literary sub-genre origins in the 1980s, growing to encompass creative design, fashion, craftsmanship, and all forms of media. In doing so, it sprawls beyond the confines of any one academic discipline.

The huge success of the annual Asylum Festival, organised by the Victorian Steampunk Society, is evidence of the fact that, over the past few years, steampunk has been appropriated into a more mainstream culture. A celebration of the creative and the performative, steampunk’s ‘spectacle’ is always underpinned by historical understanding and a politicised stance that has as much to say about contemporary society as it does about our attitudes to the past. This agenda-setting conference will run alongside the Victorian Steampunk Society’s 2017 Asylum Festival, the largest and oldest steampunk festival in Europe. Those presenting papers at the conference will also have access to the Asylum Festival.

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