• Article in the OLH flagship journal wins the SFRA Innovative Research Award

    Article in the OLH flagship journal wins the SFRA Innovative Research Award

    Posted by Paula Clemente Vega on 2022-07-20


We are delighted to announce that Dr Amy Butt has won the 2022 SFRA Innovative Research Award for her article published in the Open Library of Humanities journal. Amy’s article ‘The Present as Past: Science Fiction and the Museum’ was published in 2021 and explores the role and possibilities of science fiction texts in museum settings.

The SFRA Innovative Research Award (formerly the Pioneer Award) is given to the writer or writers of the year’s best critical essay-length work published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. The prize is awarded by the Science Fiction Research Association, an international professional organisation founded in 1970s dedicated to the study of science fiction and fantasy literature and film. 

The OLH is the flagship journal of the Open Library of Humanities, an award-winning, academic-led, diamond open-access publisher of 28 journals based in Birkbeck, University of London. With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and subsequent support from Arcadia, a charitable fund, the platform covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any author fee. This funding mechanism enables equitable open access in the humanities disciplines, with charges neither to readers nor authors. 

Dr Simon Everett, Editorial Officer for the Open Library of Humanities, said: "We are delighted that Amy’s innovative and insightful article has been internationally recognised as a significant contribution to Science Fiction research. The Open Library of Humanities team would like to congratulate Amy for this fantastic achievement and we are honoured to have published such a fascinating and important paper in the Open Library of Humanities journal.

The Open Library of Humanities journal strives to publish quality academic research in the Humanities through our wide variety of Special Collections. Amy’s research is an excellent example of the many diverse, engaging articles that we are proud to champion."

Amy Butt, the author of the awarded article commented: "I am so grateful and overjoyed to have been granted this award. The genre of sf is continually made and remade by all of us who engage with it, and I see my work as participation in this community. In the same way, I cannot claim this article as mine alone, it is the work of many. This article is a recounting of a workshop I led at the invitation of Dr Dan Byrne-Smith at the Horniman museum where art and curation students from UAL re-staged extracts of science-fictional novels, inhabiting these imagined spaces to discuss issues of collection, curation, and narrative ownership. My sincere thanks to Dan for inspiring this work, to the Horniman staff for their trust and labours of maintenance, and most critically to the students involved. These fictions, installations and conversations created landscapes I could never have traversed alone. I hope that this work offers a demonstration of the riotous fun and critical potential of collaboration - to participate in the worlds beyond institutional boundaries and resist exclusionary practices which limit how we make and share research."

This is not the first time that a prize has been awarded to an article published in one of the Open Library of Humanities' journals. Another article published in the flagship Open Library of Humanities journal was recently awarded the 2021 Elizabeth Eisenstein Essay Prize. In 2017, an article in The Comics Grid journal was awarded the prestigious Rebecca Coyle Prize, and in 2016 an article in 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century was awarded the Donald Gray Prize.


If you like the work that the Open Library of Humanities is doing, please consider asking your institution to support us financially. We cannot operate without our library members. More details for libraries can be found at: https://www.openlibhums.org/plugins/supporters/signup/.

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