Joan Gordon

Joan Gordon

 

An Associate Professor of English at Nassau Community College, Professor Gordon specializes in science fiction and Animal Studies. She is a former president of the Science Fiction Research Association, an editor for the journals Science Fiction Studies and Humanimalia and the co-editor of Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture (1997) and Edging Into the Future: Science Fiction as Contemporary Cultural Transformation (2002).

 

I spent the academic year of 2008-2009 as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at MCSU, quite a change from my usual job as a professor of English at Nassau Community College in New York. While I was there I had the blissful opportunity to teach only science fiction: a general course in American sf, one in feminist sf, and one in animal studies and sf. Not only was this a blissful experience because I loved the works I was teaching but it was also blissful because my students at UMCS were a pleasure to teach: enthusiastic, resourceful, funny, and smart. In addition, my colleagues at UMCS not only provided me with much stimulating conversation but with warm friendships as well. I especially appreciated working with the graduate students, listening to their presentations, discussing their research, offering suggestions, and learning from them. I don’t ordinarily get such an opportunity to share ideas and theories in my field on an everyday basis as I did at UMCS, much less learn valuable lessons on local culture—including such vital aspects as cakes and fashion. Indeed, my only complaint about my time in Lublin has to do with the wintertime slush, something I’d have only faced here in New York.

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