This group was formed in October 1970 to aid and encourage sf scholarship, especially in the USA and Canada. The first chairman was Thomas D Clareson. The organization has acted as a central liaison between academics teaching sf in the USA, though academic affiliation is not a requirement for membership, which can be active, honorary, institutional, student or emeritus. Members receive SFRA Newsletter (retitled SFRA Review in 1992) ten times a year; the annual SFRA Directory; and the critical journals Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies. 1977 membership was 330, 1991 membership was 313 – of whom over 50 came from outside the USA – so it has remained much the same size. The SFRA holds an annual conference, usually in June, at which papers are delivered and its annual Pilgrim Award for services to sf scholarship and/or criticism is announced; in 2019 the official name of the award was changed to the somewhat more cumbrous The SFRA Award for Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship. Since 1990 the SFRA has given a second annual award, the Pioneer Award, for best critical essay of the year, the first two being won by Veronica Hollinger (1990) and H Bruce Franklin (1991). Although SFRA was originally envisaged as focusing primarily on sf, it has for some time announced itself as "the oldest professional association for the study of science fiction, fantasy and horror/Gothic literature and film, and utopian studies". Since 1995, SFRA has presented the Thomas D Clareson Award for services to the genre. [PN]
see also: SF in the Classroom.
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