Campbell Conference Renamed

The Campbell Conference has been renamed the Gunn Center Conference. In a Facebook post on September 5 director Chris McKitterick said,

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction acknowledges and condemns the problematic words and actions of John W. Campbell. We had already been discussing changing the name of the Campbell Conference to the Gunn Center Conference, which is in any case more accurate, as we’ve added other awards and events during to be presented there; recent events expedite that decision. We’ve already begun changing the name on our website and in promotional materials.

As for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science-fiction novel of the year, the Center directors and Award jurors are currently discussing alternatives; when a decision is made, we will announce it.

The Conference has been held each year since 1978 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence KS, and has included the Theodore A. Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards ceremonies, among other events.

The unrelated John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer was also recently renamed, to The Astounding Award for Best New Writer.

For more information about the center and the awards, see the official Gunn Center website.

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3 thoughts on “Campbell Conference Renamed

  • September 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    There are probably many well reasoned and pertinent arguments to be made for honoring the contribution that John Campbell made to the nascent science fiction genre… but they all go out the window when somebody pipes up with ‘woke warriors’ phrase.

    Sorry, but you just drove a spike through any chance at a positive appraisal of Mr. Campbell and in doing so, demonstrated why he no longer matters.

    Good going.

  • September 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

    If John W. Campbell no longer matters to science fiction, I’m thinking science fiction no longer matters to me. Why not? All the writers I liked are dead or inactive. The bulk of what’s published doesn’t interest me, whichever end of the field I look at. And now it’s being dominated and planned out by social justice warriors whose motives are questionable and whose politics I don’t trust.

    John W. Campbell took the field of science fiction and, through the work he published and the writers he nurtured, made the field what it is today. If some latecomers think different, and think less of him, tough.


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