Acacia Conference 2016

Philip K. Dick: Here and Now

UC Irvine—Thursday Philip K. Dick Symposium

(This event will take place on the UC Irvine campus, and is being organized entirely by UCI faculty)

FRIDAY, APRIL 29                                    (Rooms in Titan Student Union unless stated            otherwise)


Registration opens                                                                                 Gabrielino


Titan Student Union event                                                                     Gabrielino  

Curios and Artifacts–come talk about…                                                                                                      

Philip K. Dick’s original record collection, with musicologist Sean Nye

Academic Tracks in Titan Student Union:

40 Years of Philip K. Dick                                                       Hetebrink

Chair: Frank Alanis

Buried Treasure Found Within Special Collection Holdings:

“Self Portrait by Philip K. Dick” A Personal Memoir Leads to New Perspective

Susan Geers, Cal State Fullerton

A Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man, Or, Philip K. Dick Considered as a Galactic Pot Healer

Gary Westfahl, University of La Verne

Creative Works Inspired by Philip K. Dick                                    Stearns 

Chair: Monica Mercado

 Electric Dreaming

Emily Robles, Cal State Fullerton


Zack Newman, Cal State Fullerton

Student Symposium                                                                        Gilman

Dick’s Legacy and the State of Hollywood’s Kiddie-Apocalypse, Devon Jones

Philip K. Dick vs. L. Ron Hubbard: Dinner Conversation In the Glow of AfterLife, Stephen Savage

Are Robots More Human than Humans?  Thomas Nichols

Of Androids and Men: Derrida to Philip K. Dick, Dylan Ripley


Academic Tracks in the Titan Student Union:

Android in the Shell                                                                       Bradford  

Chair: Adriana Lora

Masks and Mimicry:  Dick’s Android/Insect Paradox

Catherine S. Cassel, University of Michigan

Temporality and Philip K. Dick                                                                   Hetebrink          

Chair: Alyssa Perez

Reading for the Complot, or How Philip K. Dick Taught Ricardo Piglia to Read the Future

David Kelman, Cal State Fullerton

Quantum Theology and the Meaning of Orthogonal Time in The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick     

William Sarill, Independent Scholar

Divergence and Disjunction                                                            Stearns                                                          

Chair: Nikki Knapp

A Ubik-itous Immanence:  Summoning the Baroque Messiah of PHILIP K. DICK’s Ubik

Sean Matharoo, University of California, Riverside

Together We Are Dreaming, Alone We Are Insane: Mental Illness as Consequence in Martian Time Slip                                                                                                                                                    

Jason Nathaniel Miller, Independent Scholar

Student Symposium                                                                        Gilman

Science Fiction in the Realm of Science Fiction, Chelsea Sundberg

An Alternative (Reality) to Drug Use, Carlos Roque

Tears in the Rain, Anthony Tasselli

In a Decaying World and dealing with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Leah Vasquez

Library Panel                                                                                        Pollak Library North 130 

Philip K. Dick at CSUF, Discussion and Q and A

James Blaylock, Tim Powers

Moderators: Nicole Vandever, Paige Patterson, and Jasmine Romero


TSU Event                                                                                   TSU Theater  

On Steampunk, movie premiere, a film interview with Tim Powers

Moderator: Susan Geers


Academic Tracks in Titan Student Union:

Religion and Philip K. Dick

Chair: Forrest Montgomery

A Scanner Divine: Gnostic (D)rugs, Lies, and Metatextuality within Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly

Samuel Ortiz, Cal State Fullerton

Race, Class and Philip K. Dick                                      Hetebrink

Chair: Jorey Cantu

Race and the Segregated Nation in The Crack in Space and The Ganymede Takeover  

Jeff Hicks, California State University, Los Angeles

Puttering About in a Petit-Bourgeois Land: Crises of Class in Dick’s Novels

Rob Latham, Independent Scholar

Shakespeare & Philip K. Dick                                                     Stearns     

Chair: Allison Schmitendorf

The Hamlet-esque nature of A Scanner Darkly

Scott Price, Cal State Fullerton


Victorian Philip K. Dick                                                                  Tuffree 

Chair: Nicole Vandever

Discussing the Language in Frankenstein and Bladerunner and the Philosophical Implications                                                                                                                                                 Eliza Ebro, Cal State Fullerton

Speech as a Tool for Agency in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”

Nicole Montoy, Cal State Fullerton

Student Symposium                                                                        Gilman

Historicity and the Fragile Mind, Elizabeth Garcia

Alternate History Then and Now: A Comparison of Philip K. Dick’s Man in the High

Castle and Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory series, Michael Harden

The Minority Report: Philip K. Dick’s Treatment of Racial Identity, Janel Garcia

Steel or Flesh: The Question of Humanity, Vincent Riveria

Library Panel                                                                                  Pollak Library North 130

Philip K. Dick from Marin County to Orange County, Discussion

Grania Davis, Tessa Dick, William Sarill

Moderator: Ted Hand


Keynote Talk                                                                                     Pollak Library North 130

Jonathan Lethem, The Philip K. Dick Society: A Preliminary Archeology

Art Show and Science Fiction Special Collections Display                        Atrium Gallery, Library

Atrium Gallery, Pollak Library

5-6                 Show Open for viewing

6-7:30             Reception with artists



Registration open                                                                        Gabrielino

The Art Show will be open Saturday 9-5                                    Atrium Gallery, Library


Academic Tracks in Titan Student Union:

Philip K. Dick and Governmental Influence                                              Bradford    

Chair: Adrian Agacer

The Cruel Optimism of Capitalism:  Philip K. Dick’s “Realist” Fiction

Alexander Vogel, Independent Scholar

OC and Corporate Fascism in A Scanner Darkly and A Man in the High Castle

John H. Tice II, Cal State Fullerton

Pathos & Philip K. Dick                                                                             Hetebrink            

Chair: Amanda Wetrick

“Maybe Some Footnote”: Reality, Sympathy, and Drug Users in A Scanner Darkly

Nicole Vandever, Cal State Fullerton

Fictional Human:  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

James Kendrick, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Promotion and Philip K. Dick                                                                        Stearns          

Chair: Jon Snyder

Dick: Self-Promoter

David Gill, San Francisco State University

Student Symposium                                                                        Gilman

Paranoia and Drug Use in A Scanner Darkly and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Hannah Bell

Mechanical Humanity, John Deloss

Philip K. Dick, Style and SF, Christopher Russell

Titan Student Union Event                                                           TSU Theater

Dick’s SoCal Dream: Jonathan Lethem In Conversation With Samuel Sousa


Academic Tracks in Titan Student Union:

Adaptation                                                                       Bradford 

Chair: Cassandra Kilzer

On the Hunt for Authenticity: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and its Visual Adaptation

Frank Alanis, Cal State Fullerton


Psychology/Psychiatry                                                                        Hetebrink                                                     

Chair: Christine Garavito

Philip K. Dick and Psychiatry

Orin L. Bigman, Independent Scholar

Voices, Consciousness, and the Bicameral Mind:  Philip K. Dick’s Use of Julian Jaynes Psychology

Richard Feist, Saint Paul University, Ottawa

Speculative Reality                                                                           Stearns          

Chair: Javier Ulloa

Reading Philip K. Dick’s Mainstream Novels as SF

Doug Mackey, Independent Scholar

Choose Your Truth:  The Revelation at the End of The Man in the High Castle 

Giordano Goffi, University of Macerata, Italy

Student Symposium                                                                            Gilman

Synthetic People, Life as an Android, Alexander Real

Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle: “The Very Idea of Place,” Kayley Quick

Justifiable Paranoia in The Minority Report and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, MaryAnn Shnell

Feeling Human, Is It Enough?, Benjamin Begay

Library Panel                                                                                    Pollak Library North 130

Philip K. Dick, Here and Now

Howard Hendrix, Gregg Rickman, Jacob Weisman


TSU Event                                                                                          TSU Theater

Philip K. Dick Goes to the Movies, Discussion and Q and A

Daniel Gilbertson, Gary Westfahl, Paul Sammon


Academic Tracks in Titan Student Union:

Past Lives                                                                               Bradford     

Chair: Samuel Ortiz

The Crypto-Jewish Identities of the Philip K. Dick,

Aharon Varady, The Jewish Free Culture Society


Music and Philip K. Dick                                                Hetebrink  

Chair: Trevor Allred

Sonic Fiction: Music, Sound, and High Fidelity in the Writings of Philip K. Dick

Sean Nye, University of Southern California

Philip K. Dick as Composer: An ab initio Investigation

Jeff Cook, Independent Scholar

Systems of Power                                                                      Stearns             

Chair: Eliza Ebro

Race and Whiteness in Dick’s The Man in the High Castle     

Chenglin Lee, Cal State Fullerton

“Mainlining the Secret Truth of the Universe”:  Confronting State Sanctioned Myths in True Detective and A Scanner Darkly              

Richard Johnston Jones, Keele University, United Kingdom

Humanizing Androids                                           Tuffree                                                            

Chair: Emily Robles

Do Androids Dream of Electric Fetuses?: The Android and Roe v. Wade (1973)

Palmer Rampell, Yale University

Philip K. Dick Here and Now: When is Intelligence Artificial?

Suhail Rafidi, Independent Scholar

Student Symposium                                                                        Gilman

‪Philip K. Dick and Time, James Macias

Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: A Warning of the Future?, Kelly O’Donnell

Growing Up Philip, Sarah Brewer

The Letters that Make Philip K. Dick: A Look at the Author’s Late Life, Jack Abbott

Library Panel                                                                                       Pollak Library North 130

Philip K. Dick in the Future

Greg Benford, Bruce McAllister, Maer Wilson

Moderator: David Kelman


TSU Event                                                                                    TSU Theater

Keynote Lecture           

Dr. Ursula Heise, Dick’s New Natures


Keynote/Panelist Biographies:

Gregory Benford is a friend to Philip K. Dick, a science fiction author, and an astrophysicist. He is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at UC, Irvine. He won the Nebula for his novel Timescape.

James Blaylock is an award-wining writer, CSUF alum, and a friend of Philip K. Dick. He is a founding Steampunk author. His most recent novel is Beneath London, part of his Langdon St. Ives series.

Grania Davis was Philip K. Dick’s close friend when he lived in Marin County during the turbulent 1960s-70s. A memoir of those days can be found in Tree of Life, Book of Death: The Treasures of Grania Davis.

Tessa Dick met Philip K. Dick in 1972 and shared the strange experiences that led to his “Exegesis”.

Daniel Gilbertson worked with Philip K. Dick 1979-1982 while developing the screen version of “Second Variety.” He wrote about Philip K. Dick and Hollywood for Cinefantastique

Ursula Heise, Professor of English, UCLA, was a Guggenheim Fellow and President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Her book, Imagining Extinction, is forthcoming.

Howard Hendrix has written six novels, numerous short stories, and published scholarly works as well. His fiction has been nominated for the Nebula. He teaches writing and literature at CSUF, Fresno.

Jonathan Lethem is a writer, and winner of the National Book Critics Award and a MacArthur Fellowship. He edited The Library of America volumes on Philip K. Dick and co-edited his Exegesis.

Bruce McAllister is a writer and Professor Emeritus of the University of Redlands. He met Philip K. Dick when teaching at CSUF.  His recent novel is The Village Sang to the Sea: A Memoir of Magic.

Tim Powers is an award-wining writer, CSUF alum, and a friend of Philip K. Dick. He is a founding Steampunk author. His most recent novel is Medusa’s Web.

Gregg Rickman is the author of Variable Man: The Lives of Philip K. Dick (forthcoming).

Paul Sammon is the author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s friend.

William Sarill is an old friend of Philip K. Dick ‘s, living for a month as his houseguest in 1968. Two articles on Philip K. Dick are available on He is also giving a conference paper 10:30 Friday morning.

Jacob Weisman edits and is one of the publishers of Tachyon Publications. His writing has appeared in Realms of Fantasy and The Nation. He is currently editing Invaders: 22 tales from the Outer Limits of Literature.

Gary Westfahl is a scholarly author and reviewer who has published very widely on SF, including The Biographical Encyclopedia of SF Film and on movies for Locus Online, among many others.

Maer Wilson is a writer, CSUF alum, and close friend of Philip K. Dick’s. She is writing about him in The Other Side of Philip K. DickShe wrote the Modern Magics series, Apocalypta Z, and is working on SF novel, The Truthsayer.