Doctor Who author Una McCormack will be a guest speaker at an event hosted by the Manchester-based Mary Quaile Club this autumn.

‘Dreams and Nightmares: Feminist Utopias and Dystopias’ will examine literary portrayals of utopic and dystopic futures as imagined by several 20th-century female authors. As well as two guest talks, the event will also invite the audience to participate in the discussion surrounding the topic and share their own ideas of possible future utopias.

McCormack’s talk, ‘Katherine Burdekin’s Speculative Vision’, is centred around published works of novelist Katherine Burdekin. The author – real name Katherine Cade (1896-1963) – published ten novels between 1922 and 1940, of which her most well-known is the anti-fascist dystopia Swastika Nights. McCormack’s talk will provide an overview of these works in particular, as well as more generally discuss the scope and range of feminist utopian writing of the 20s-30s and how these texts can connect with modern audiences.

Una McCormack is a New York Times bestselling author and lecturer in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University. She has written several novels in the Star Trek and Doctor Who universes, including the Twelfth Doctor adventure Royal Blood and the upcoming Thirteenth Doctor novel Molten Heart.

McCormack has also contributed several stories to Big Finish’s Doctor Who range of audio dramas. Her most recent adventure Red Planets, featuring the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Mel (Bonnie Langford), was released earlier this month – check out Blogtor Who’s review here.

The second guest speaker of the day will be Ciara O’Sullivan. A founder member of the Mary Quaile Club, O’Sullivan will be sharing her views on two utopian novels with a strong feminist slant:

  • Herland by Charlotte Gilman Perkins (1915), set in an isolated country populated solely by women.
  • Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy (1976), which juxtaposes a contemporary 70s USA setting with a utopian, communitarian future in 2137.

The event will take place on Saturday 6th October 2018, 2pm at Levenshulme Old Library, Levenshulme, Manchester. It is free to attend with a collection to be held at the end. The organisers strongly recommend booking places in advance via [email protected]

Further details about the Mary Quaile Club as well as future events can be found at the organisation’s website.


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