The forum is dedicated to two anniversaries – Jonathan Swift's 350th and J. R. R. Tolkien’s 125th.
Visitors from several Russian universities have arrived to participate. The most sizable delegations are from Moscow State University and Lobachevsky University, the two institutions which are widely known for their expertise in the matter.
Chairman of the Conference Committee, Associate Professor of the Department of Russian and Foreign Literature, Yelena Shevchenko told us that KFU first turned to this topic, “We then held a conference called “Problems of Contemporary Science Fiction”. The conference proved once again that science fiction is a very popular topic of research for young scientists. The event attracted much feedback from participants and students. That’s how the idea of the today’s conference came up.” She added that the topic spectrum this time is wider, as many new genres and subgenres in science fiction which need to be tackled by researchers.
Apart from the conference sessions, a meeting with a science fiction author from Kazan, Yasmina Sapphire, is scheduled. She has issued three books with one of the biggest Russian publishers so far.
Yelizaveta Ivanova, a conference contributor from Saratov, told us that her PhD dissertation was dedicated to the biographical genre, but she soon decided to turn to something new, “I understood that I want to study something closer to heart and switched to fantasy. When I saw an announcement about this conference in Kazan, I became interested in coming here and socializing with other people who are engaged in the same sphere.”
Among the topics of the plenary session were Jonathan Swift’s futurology, portraits of science fiction fans in early 20th century Russia, fantasy as a worldview, contemporary Russian fantasy, and many others.