First International Philip K. Dick Conference, 15-18 November, 2012, TU Dortmund University, Germany
“Worlds Out of Joint: Re-Imagining Philip K. Dick,” a conference held on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Philip K. Dick’s death, will take place at TU Dortmund University 15-18 November 2012.
Panels will include some 24 speakers from ten countries on the topics of Authorship and Exegesis, Power Relations and Global Capitalism, Cultural History, Translation, Narrative and Cultural Theory, as well as The Android Mind.
The conference will also feature a presentation of David Kleiweght’s filmic documentation of Dick’s last three years, „The Owl at Daylight”, including a discussion with the director and cinematographer; an exhibition with Philip K. Dick book covers from the 1950s until the present; and a musical tribute to Dick by Michael Lysight.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Norman Spinrad (New York/Paris), Roger Luckhurst (Birbeck, University of London, UK),
Marc Bould (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK), Takayuki Tasumi (Keio University, Tokyo, Japan ), Laurence Rickels (University of California/ the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany), Umberto Rossi (independent scholar and literary journalist, Italy), David Kleijwegt (documentary maker and writer)
„2012 sees the thirtieth anniversary of the untimely death, at the age of 53, of Philip K. Dick – a figure whose cultural impact within and beyond science fiction remains difficult to overestimate. Dick’s academic and popular reputation continues to grow, as a number of recent monographs, several biographies and an unceasing flow of film adaptations testify. Yet while his status as “The Most Brilliant Sci-Fi Mind on Any Planet” (Paul Williams) is rarely questioned, scholarly criticism of Dick has not kept pace with recent developments in academia – from transnationalism to adaptation studies, from the cultural turn in historiography to the material turn in the humanities. Too often Dick remains shrouded in clichés and myth. Indeed, rarely since the seminal contributions of Fredric Jameson and Darko Suvin have our engagements with Dick proved equal to the complexity of his writing – an oeuvre indebted to the pulps and Goethe, Greek philosophy and the Beats – that calls for renewed attempts at a history of popular culture.
The aim of this conference is to contribute to such an undertaking. At a time when mass protest against irrational economic, political and cultural orders is once again erupting around the world, the Dortmund conference will return to one of the major figures of the long American Sixties: to an author whose prophetic analyses of biopolitical capitalism and the neo-authorian surveillance state remain as pertinent as they were 30 years ago.”