Serena Ceniccola (furthest right in picture above) – graduand with an MA in Victorian Literature from the School of English and Drama- successfully presented her paper “Nobody/Nowhere: the alienation of the Hybrid in Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul” at the two-day student conference “Exploring alterity in fantasy and science fiction” at the University of Freiburg, making QMUL the only one London based University to take part in the event.
The paper explores the relationship between hybridity and memory in the context of horror manga, which – in its contemporary form – has been heavily influenced by British Victorian Press and 19th century Gothic. Serena – who already earned an MA in Modern, Post-colonial and Comparative literature with Distinction (summa cum laude) from University of Bologna specializing in Japanese, Finnish and Anglo-American studies – is especially interested in the fields of identity, hybridity, and cultural contacts. According to her paper: “Exploring new representations of the Hybrid in fiction is very important if we want to really understand the world we live in today.”
The conference – that took place on October 19th and 20th – saw nineteen MA students and PhD candidates from different countries and with very different backgrounds discussing how otherness manifests in speculative fiction. Their works focused on novels, comics, podcasts, movies, manga, and videogames.
Dr Timothy Baker (lecturer in Scottish and contemporary literature at University of Aberdeen) gave one of the two key lectures scheduled on “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vs The Capitalocene.” Dr Helena Ifill (University Teacher at University of Sheffield, co-organizer for the Victorian Popular Fiction Association and co-director for the University of Sheffield Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies) discussed the effects of mesmerism on the self with her lecture “Othering the Self: Speculative Psychological Fiction”.