Ad Astra Center Announces Celebrated Author Kij Johnson as Associate Director


The Ad Astra Center for Science Fiction & Speculative Imagination is pleased to announce that celebrated science fiction and fantasy author Kij Johnson will be joining the center as Associate Director.

Kij Johnson“Kij is a fantastic writer and educator. I’m very excited that she is on board to help shape the vision and impact of Ad Astra,” said center Director Chris McKitterick. “She has been a valued colleague for many years and someone I admire for their tenacity of thought, dedication to students, and excellence in craft.”

Johnson is a writer of speculative and experimental short fiction and novels. She has won the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, as well as the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire and others.

In 2013, she gave the inaugural Tolkien Lecture at Oxford University; since then, she has been a guest of honor at conferences and conventions in Sweden, France, and the United States. Johnson has also been a professor in the Department of English at the University of Kansas, starting in 2012.

“Science fiction—speculative fiction—offers a unique way of engaging with big ideas. In some ways, it is the dominant storytelling mode of our era,” Johnson said. “To continue my work exploring speculative fiction as a practitioner and educator through the efforts of the Ad Astra Center is particularly gratifying.”

These efforts will include many of the center’s public outreach projects, including conferences, classes, presentations, masterclasses, events, and workshops. Kij will be on hand to offer her expertise and experience in driving these projects.

“Right now, Kij and I are planning some wonderful things,” said McKitterick. “For fans, scholars, and writers of spec fic, there will be a lot to enjoy.”

 

About Ad Astra Center for Science Fiction & the Speculative Imagination:

Led by Center Director Chris McKitterick, the Ad Astra Center for Science Fiction & the Speculative Imagination brings writers, readers, scholars, educators, and fans of speculative fiction together to learn about and create work that changes the world.

The Ad Astra Center is a center within the Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI), one of 12 designated research institutes at the University of Kansas. AAI and its centers partner with numerous agencies to improve the lives of children and adults through academics, employment, career advancement, and building healthy environments, as well as to enhance the capacity of organizations that help children, adults, and communities succeed.