Keynote Speakers


Terence McSweeney (Solent University)

Dr Terence McSweeney is a senior lecturer in film and television studies at Solent University. He is widely recognised as one of the leading writers on contemporary American cinema. He has held research posts at the University of Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, the IAS (Institute of Advanced Studies) at UCL, and the London School of Economics. He is the author of The War on Terror and American Film: ‘9/11 Frames per Second’ (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), Avengers Assemble! Critical Perspectives on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Wallflower Press, 2018), The Hurt Locker (Auteur Press, 2019) and The Contemporary Superhero Film (Short Cuts) (Wallflower Press, 2020). He is the editor of American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11 (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), co-editor of Millennial Cinema: Memory in Global Film (Wallflower Press, 2012) and co-editor of Through the Black Mirror: Deconstructing the Side Effects of the Digital Age (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) with Dr Stuart Joy, which features contributions from renowned scholars such as Henry Jenkins, Sean Redmond, Steffen Hantke, M. Keith Booker and many others.

Terence’s newest book, Black Panther: Interrogating a Cultural Phenomenon (2021), is the first in a new series he is the co-founder of at Mississippi University Press (alongside Dr Stuart Joy) called Reframing Hollywood.

Terence is a Senior Fellow of the HEA. In 2018 he won a Solent University STAR Teaching Award in the category of ‘Excellent Feedback’, and in 2019 was shortlisted for the Solent Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2018 he was the recipient of the 2019 Everett Helm Fellowship Prize at the Lilly Library, Indiana University. He has been invited to speak at a range of locations including the BFI (British Film Institute), the British Library and UCL.

In 2019 Terence completed his first film, the 30-minute long documentary Blowback: The 9/11 Wars in Global Film (co-directed with former Solent student George Lee), a companion piece to Terence’s book of the same name, which won the Best Documentary Short Film at the Belfast Respect Human Rights Film Festival.


Gerry Canavan (Marquette University)

Gerry Canavan teaches courses in contemporary American literature and popular culture, exploring the ways that authors, filmmakers, and other artists have explored and critiqued the conditions of contemporary life through their creative work.  His research and publication has primarily focused on one of the most culturally important and globally influential genres of the postwar United States: science fiction.

He is currently at work on two book projects, the first a critical monograph on science fiction and totality and the second an in-depth consideration of the career of Octavia Butler for the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series at University of Illinois Press. Among other recent publications, he has recently published an article on the apocalyptic imaginary in Margaret Atwood’s environmental disaster novel Oryx and Crake, a chapter on Huntington’s disease for Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure, and an article on superhero fantasy in Butler’s Patternist series in Paradoxa‘s special issue on African SF

He is the co-editor of special issues of American Literature and Polygraph on “speculative fiction” and “ecology and ideology,” respectively. His edited critical anthology, Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction (co-edited with Kim Stanley Robinson) was published in spring 2014 by Wesleyan University Press and The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction which he co-edited with Eric Carl Link was just recently published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press.


João Nuno Azambuja

João Nuno Azambuja was born in Braga in 1974 and has a degree in History and Social Sciences. He participaded in several acheological expeditions across the country and throughout several years. Later, after teaching History for a brief period, he joined the military as a paratrooper, where he became a squad commander. Upon returning to civilian life, he devoted himself to writing and founded a celtic-inspired bar in Braga, where some of the best iberian bands of the genre played in memorable concerts.

His first novel, Era uma vez um homem, won the UCCLA (União das Cidades Capitais de Língua Portuguesa) literary prize in 2016. In 2018 he published  Os Provocadores de Naufrágios  with Guerra & Paz and in 2019, with the same publisher, his third novel Autópsia.