Center for the Study of Science Fiction
AboutSF Project

The Center for the Study of Science Fiction's educational-outreach project is AboutSF. A University of Kansas student employee serves as the project's Volunteer Coordinator; from 2005-2007, the Volunteer Coordinator was Thomas Seay, who also built the first iteration of AboutSF.com; from 2007-2010, Nathaniel Williams held the position; in spring 2010, it was Samantha Simmons; from summer to fall 2010, Kristen Lillvis; from 2011-2012, it was Benjamin Cartwright; and from 2012-2013 it has been Isaac Bell. Our first Web Developer/Designer (2011-2012) has been Patrick Flor.

Call for applications open now: AboutSF Coordinator and also AboutSF Webmaster. Click links or scroll down.

These positions are funded entirely by donations to the Center, and all donations go entirely to paying the Coordinator's salary, with a small amount to help cover expenses such as travel to conventions where the Coordinator talks and leads workshops.

The AboutSF.com website is the project's resource center, hosting information about and collaboration on SF and education in the field. Among our projects:

  • A speakers' bureau (Speculation Speakers) for futurists, science fiction and fantasy authors, and other experts on speculative thinking.
  • Creating courses on teaching SF via the Center and the University of Kansas.
  • Facilitating literature donations.
  • Curriculum resources for Teaching SF, for using and studying science fiction at the primary, secondary, and university levels.
  • Hosting a consortium of SF-friendly university programs.
  • Coordinating volunteer efforts across the speculative fiction field.
  • And much more to be announced as it goes live!

AboutSF is a joint project of the University of Kansas Center for the Study of Science Fiction, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Research Association, with generous support from Tor Books, the KaCSFFS ConQuest SF Convention, and several individual donors.

To read the latest news on AboutSF projects, keep an eye on the AboutSF News and Announcements Forum.


AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator Position

Are you passionate about speculative fiction? Do you want to get involved in the heart of SF while helping keep it vital? Well, then, perhaps youre the person were looking for!

Who are we? The Center for the Study of Science Fiction (described on this website) and About SF (hosted here).

We are looking for a KU student (graduate or undergraduate) to work for our growing programs. Because our first student-employee went on into a life of politics, our second employee moved into a research capacity, and our third got her PhD, you have the opportunity to shape the position to best serve our mission as you see it.

Qualifications

  • Familiar with science fiction literature and the field; you need not be an expert, but should be able to learn quickly and speak intelligently about the subject.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Good attention to detail but can also see the big picture.
  • Self-motivated, self-directed, and able to work creatively toward solutions.
  • Excellent at managing time and prioritizing projects. The tasks of this job are wide and varied, some a few minutes long and some long-term.
  • Excited about meeting the movers and shakers in the SF field as well coordinating volunteers around the world. A successful AboutSF Coordinator stays in regular touch with writers, editors, publishers, donors, volunteers, and many others via phone calls, email, snail-mail, blogs, and more.
  • Excellent at researching on the Web and via traditional methods.
  • Able to communicate clearly, concisely, and regularly via the Web, email, telephone, and in person.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office.
  • Enthusiastic about traveling to SF conventions and other venues in the area or around the country to meet people, promote our programs, and deliver the occasional talk or workshop.
  • Experienced with or have a passion for developing educational programs and teaching.
  • Familiar with building and maintaining websites, or able to quickly learn how to do so. (NOTE: If we fill the AboutSF Webmaster position, this is less important.)
  • Open to mentoring and direction, when needed.
  • Familiar with communicating via social networking tools, blogs, video sites, and so forth.
  • Able to work year-round.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience recruiting and working with volunteers.
  • Experience with consumer-grade video and audio editing software.
  • Experience writing grants.
  • Familiar with Web-development languages including the Drupal platform tool, CSS, and HTML. Handy for working with old pages are .php, MySQL, Javascript, DHTML, XML, and Ajax.
  • Comfortable with graphic-design software such as Photoshop.
  • Familiar with content-editing programs (text, presentations, and so on).

Responsibilities

  • Coordinating worldwide volunteer activities in support of science fiction education.
  • Editing and approving content provided by others for the AboutSF.com website, including educational materials, and creating content if needed.
  • Writing promotional material and weekly reports to the public via our blog.
  • Writing weekly progress reports to the CSSF management team.
  • Writing yearly or semi-annual high-level reports to our Board of Advisors and regular donors.
  • Updating the AboutSF website and working with Web developers.
  • Sharing information about programs and resources through social media and other means.
  • Working with volunteers on various projects.
  • Helping locate donations, grants, or other funding.
  • Sharing resources with educators.
  • Presenting panels locally, with opportunities to travel to science-fiction conventions.
  • Writing proposals and grants for programs and financial support.
  • Other initiatives: Prior Coordinators have created podcast series, made videos, and lots of other great projects. What can you contribute that's uniquely yours? You have the freedom to create something great!

This is a part-time, student-hourly position funded entirely by donations (fully funded this year), with contract re-appointment reviewed by the CSSF Board of Advisors each semester. Beyond a paycheck, the experience you'll earn and the benefits of working inside science fiction are immeasurable!

Call for Applications:
AboutSF Webmaster Position

The AboutSF Webmaster maintains, updates, and performs some design work on the various Center for the Study of Science Fiction websites (aboutsf.com, sfcenter.ku.edu, adastra.ku.edu), as well as develops new digital projects. The Webmaster must be good at self-direction and completing tasks without constant supervision.

Qualifications

  • Familiar with science fiction literature and the field; you need not be an expert, but should be able to learn quickly.
  • Experience with HTML, XML, CSS, PHP, SQL, Javascript, and CMS administration (such as Drupal or Wordpress).
  • Self-motivated, self-directed, and able to work creatively toward solutions.
  • Excellent at managing time and prioritizing projects. The tasks of this job are wide and varied, some a few minutes long and some long-term.
  • Able to communicate clearly via the Web, email, telephone, and in person.  

Preferred Qualifications

  • Web design and development experience.
  • Previous work with creating digital archive projects.

Responsibilities

  • The AboutSF webmaster is responsible for the smooth functioning and improvement of the CSSF websites.
  • This includes understanding the resources available, coming up with plans for improving the information architecture (if necessary), better integrating the various sites, improving site design, building or implementing ways to display and further develop our resources, and helping with other technical and creative issues.  

To apply, send us a resume and letter (to Chris McKitterick at cmckit@ku.edu) describing how you fit our needs - and if you have any suggestions for improving our current websites.

We hope to make our hiring decisions soon, so sooner is better! If we haven't yet filled the position, we'll keep the call for applications open until it's filled.

This is a part-time, student-hourly position funded entirely by donations (fully funded this year), with contract re-appointment reviewed by the CSSF Board of Advisors each semester. Beyond a paycheck, the experience you'll earn and the benefits of working inside science fiction are immeasurable!
 

updated 5/1/2013

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