Board of Advisors

The Board of Advisors to the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction provides regular advice and advocacy on ongoing and new initiatives and programs offered and sponsored by the Center, on sources of support, on structure and goals, on subjects for our annual Conference, and other pursuits. The Board is encouraged to make suggestions on any of these aspects at any time to the Directors or other Center personnel, individually and collectively. Unless we have other regular communications, we try to stay in contact through annual reports, and frequently solicit various members for advice.

Should the need arise and the current Directors are indisposed, the Center's Board of Advisors provides guidance and is the only body empowered to appoint a replacement Gunn Center Director. Also in such a case, they provide oversight of our various Endowment funds and other finances, helping ensure the Center's financial future.

Founding Director James Gunn originated the Board from informal origins some time before April 2004, and it has since seen new members join as others pass away.

Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction Board of Advisors

We regularly expand the Center's Board of Advisors and refine roles as we develop more formal internal documentation during annual Board meetings. Current members include:

  • Perry Alexander, Director of the KU Information & Telecommunication Technology Center, and Distinguished Professor in EECS.
  • Elizabeth Bourne, author and patron of the arts who provided for the Bourne Scholarship in SF Writing.
  • David Brin, award-winning author, editor, long-time friend of the Center, and SF activist who helped us found AboutSF.
  • Pat Cadigan, award-winning author who helped create Cyberpunk, editor, Center alum, and occasional writer-in-residence for the SF Workshop.
  • Matthew Candelaria, author, editor, scholar, and Center alum who co-authored and co-edited two books with James Gunn.
  • Benjamin Cartwright, Professor of SF and creative writing, and alum of the Center.
  • Andy Duncan, award-winning author, scholar, Professor of English at Frostburg State University, and occasional writer-in-residence for the SF Workshop.
  • Bruce Frey, KU Professor of Educational Psychology and coordinator of the Statistics (REMS) track of the Educational Psychology and Research Program.
  • Karen Hellekson, Center alum and independent scholar.
  • M.H. Hoeflich, KU Distinguished Professor of Law.
  • Elizabeth Anne Hull, author, scholar, Professor, long-time writer-in-residence of the Intensive SF Institute and SF Workshop, and juror for the Campbell Award.
  • John Kessel, multiple award-winning author, Center alum, and Professor of Creative Writing, writer-in-residence for the SF Workshop, and Center alum.
  • Neal Kingston, University Distinguished Professor in the department of Educational Psychology at the University of Kansas, in which he also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies, coordinator of the Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute.
  • Kathy Kitts, Professor of Geology, team member on NASA's Genesis Discovery Mission, planetarium director, and alum of the Center.
  • Michael Levy, author, scholar, former president of SFRA and ICFA, and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin.
  • Division Head for Events Ruth Lichtwardt, long-time convention organizer, Center affiliate since its earliest days, administrator of the Conference, and Center alum.
  • Gunn Centre Kerala (India) Director Latha Nair,  Professor of English Literature at St Teresa's College. She also headed the International Conference on World Science Fiction in India 2014.
  • Gunn Center Lincoln (Nebraska) Director Michael Page, SF scholar; Lecturer and Laurus Faculty Advisor at the University of Nebraska Department of English, Gunn Center Fellow since 2013, Academic Programming Director for the Conference since 2016, and Center alum.
  • Frederik Pohl (until his death in 2013), was involved in science fiction since the 1930s as a fan, magazine editor, and author. He was a SFWA Grand Master, inducted into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, served as a Sturgeon Award juror, and was a long-time writer-in-residence of the Intensive SF Institute and SF Workshop.
  • Pamela Sargent, award-winning author and editor, and juror for the Campbell Award. Starting in the 1970s, she edited the Women of Wonder series, the first collections of science fiction by women.
  • Thomas Seay, author, our first AboutSF Volunteer and Educational-Outreach Coordinator, and Center alum.
  • Nathaniel Williams, SF author, University of California professor of SF literature, and Center alum.
  • Lisa Yaszek, Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology; head of Sci Fi Lab; and SF studies at Georgia Tech.
  • George Zebrowski, award-winning author and editor, and juror for the Sturgeon Award.

Also the following organizational leaders (honorary):

  • The Presidents of SFRA, SFWA, and ICFA, in honor of their support and encouragement.
  • The leaders of affiliated SF centers and programs in the International Science Fiction Consortium.
  • The current Chair of KU's English Department, in honor of our long-time affiliation.

We also consult regularly with the Center's diverse group of Affiliated Faculty and other treasured friends.

Board of Directors

Founding Director James Gunn (until his death in December 2020), our founder, Grand Master of Science Fiction, SF Hall of Fame inductee, science fiction author and scholar and historian, KU Professor Emeritus of English. Established the Center in 1982 as a Kansas Board of Regents research center. He was a past president of SFWA and chair of the Campbell Award jury to select the best science-fiction novel of the year. Professor Gunn also long served on the advisory board of the SF Museum and Hall of Fame and lived in Lawrence, KS. Jim continued to serve the Center after his retirement in the mid-1990s until his final days.

Director Chris McKitterick, award-winning author, editor, scholar, Senior Faculty in KU English, and Center alum. Affiliated with the Center since 1992, KU faculty since 2002, Associate Director from 2002-2010, and Director ever since.

Associate Director Kij Johnson, multiple award-winning author, editor, scholar and KU Associate Professor of creative writing in English since 2012. Affiliated with the Center since 1994, Associate Director since 2004.

Last updated 3/16/2021.