Members of the Executive Board include nine officers: President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Treasurer, Public Information Officer, Conference Chair, Immediate Past President, BIPOC Caucus Representative, Registration and Membership Coordinator, and Student Caucus Representative.

Other positions are are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board. You can find Other IAFA Officials here. Prequisites received by board members, other officers, as well as division heads associated with the conferences are listed here


Paweł Frelik
University of Warsaw, Poland

Paweł Frelik is Associate Professor in the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw (Poland). His research interests include science fiction, video games, fantastic visualities, digital media, and transmedia storytelling. He has published widely in these fields, serves on the advisory boards of Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, and Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and is the co-editor of the New Dimensions in Science Fiction book series at the University of Wales Press.

First Vice-President

Novella Brooks de Vita
Houston Community College, Houston, Texas, USA

Novella Brooks de Vita has adored her involvement with ICFA since she first attended the conference in 2008. She is currently at the fairly-end-stages of her Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Higher Education Administration while adjunct teaching developmental reading and writing at Houston Community College.  Novella has made extensive presentations on literature including comics, film, theatre, literacy, and pedagogy.  Her published book scholarly chapter and essays include "Wiz Kids: An Exploration of Pedagogy in the World of Harry Potter” in Palgrave-Macmillan’s Teaching and Learning on Screen: Mediated Pedagogies, “Made into Nothing: Surviving Multifaceted Vulnerability” in The Maroon, “’You Have Forever Changed My Life’: The Need for Academic Rigor in Teaching Humanities in a Global Society” in Humanities Bulletin, and "African American College Preparation through Reading in Secondary Schools," "Beloved and Betrayed: Survival and Authority in Kindred" and "Abiku Babies: Spirit Children and Human Bonding” in The Griot.  In addition to scholarly publications, Novella has published poetry in the Guild Press anthologies Forced from the Garden: Poetry and Short Prose by Women, Full Circle Twenty-Two and Full Circle Twenty-Three. Her previously published short fiction includes the speculative "Cacie's Prism" in Love and Darker Passions and horror-sci fi "My Bogeyman" in Tales in Firelight and Shadow, anthologies published by Double Dragon.  In addition to administrative educational support roles as a graduate student for TSU’s Student Academic Support Services and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s Center for Legal Pedagogy and behind-the-scenes work in various creative productions throughout the years, Novella has engaged in research, planning, logistics, outreach, and event management for a range of scholarly and creative engagements, including Texas Southern University’s “Incarceration Patterns of African and Latino America” conference, “Addressing the Tex-Book Controversy” community forum with Texas State Representatives, “Identity Crisis/ Mission Statement: Are We an Urban Learning University?” faculty symposium, Before They Die! documentary screenings and panel, “A Discussion of the DREAM Act with Gaby Pacheco,” a Gloria Rolando film festival featuring the Cuban filmmaker at TSU, as well as planning and producing Mystery Monday Movies, Knit Wits, Kitchen Capers Readers’ Circle, River Park Riverside Shakespeare Workshop, Youth Arts Festival, Wabruda Hidden History Quiz Bowl, Dance Dance Revolution Branch Tournament, Dead Man’s Chest Pirate Party, a Fruits Basket program, and AniméAfternoon while working in a county library system.  Novella has worked on making experiences accessible and relevant to those she has served in previous roles and hopes to support such goals' success in her current role.

Second Vice-President

David M. Higgins
Inver Hills College, Minnesota, USA

David M. Higgins is the Speculative Fiction Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He teaches English at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota, and he specializes in 20th- and 21st-century American literature and culture. His research explores transformations in imperial fantasy during the Cold War period and beyond. Higgins’s article “Toward a Cosmopolitan Science Fiction” won the 2012 Science Fiction Research Association’s Pioneer Award for excellence in scholarship. He has published in journals such as American Literature, Science Fiction Studies, Science Fiction Film and Television, and Extrapolation, and his work has appeared in edited volumes such as The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction.


Sean Nixon
University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Sean Nixon holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado where he currently works as a researcher in nonlinear waves and optics. Research topics range from topological insulators and parity-time symmetry to perturbation theory and asymptotic techniques. Beyond his scientific work, Sean is also the author of several semi-academic articles that explore the connections between math and pop culture such as "Fractal Characterization in Pixar's Inside Out" and "The Rick-est Rick, the Multiverse, and P-hacking". Sean is the artist of the webcomic Hollow Oak University, the author of short plays performed at the Paragon Play Festival (and at ICFA), and long-time ICFA attendees may be vaguely aware of his presence as the conference A/V monkey from 2010-2021.

Public Information Officer

Candice Thornton
Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA USA

Candice Thornton (they/them/theirs) is a multi-hyphenate creative and interdisciplinary scholar. They are a third-year Humanities doctoral student and adjunct English professor at Clark Atlanta University, their alma mater, Spelman College, and West Georgia Technical College. They earned their M.A. in English Literature from Texas Southern University. Their publications include a forthcoming chapter in Inclusion in Linguistics by Oxford University Press, a monograph on Octavia E. Butler's Kindred and "Bloodchild" in the Science Fiction Research Association Review, a chapter on myth and memory in enslavement narratives in Racial Discourse: A Collection of Essays by Edwin Mellen Press. Candice joined IAFA in 2021 as a general member, and prior to serving as PIO, they served as a Creative Council member for the IAFA's BIPOC Caucus. 

Virtual Conference Director

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki is an African speculative fiction writer, editor and publisher from Nigeria. He has won the Nebula, Otherwise, Nommo, Locus, Asimov reader's award, British and World Fantasy awards and is a multiple Hugo, Sturgeon, British Science Fiction, & NAACP Image award finalist. He was a CanCon 22 and ICFA 23 Guest of Honour, the VICFA coordinator and member of the IAFA board.

Immediate Past President

Dale Knickerbocker
East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Dale Knickerbocker is Linda E. McMahon Distinguished Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at East Carolina University, where he teaches Hispanic languages, literatures, and cultures. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts and Alambique, and a member of the editorial advisory boards of Extrapolation, Brumal (Spain), and Abusões (Brazil).

He is editor of the critical collection Lingua Cosmica: Science Fiction from Beyond the Anglophone Universe, and author of Juan José Millás: The Obsessive-Compulsive Aesthetic and the upcoming Spain Is Different? Historical Memory, Modernity, and the “Two Spains” in Turn-of-the-Millennium Spanish Apocalyptic Novels.

BIPOC Caucus Representative

Alexis Brooks de Vita
Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA

With degrees in Comparative Literature specializing in the works of women of African descent in English, French, Italian, and Spanish, Alexis Brooks de Vita (she/her/one) is a professor of literature at Texas Southern University, an HBCU.  Dr. Brooks de Vita’s non-fiction books are The 1855 Murder Case of Missouri versus Celia, Mythatypes:  Signatures and Signs of African, Diaspora and Black Goddesses, and the translation Dante's Inferno:  A Wanderer in Hell.  She has chapters and essays in Science Fiction from beyond the Anglosphere, God is Change: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Lingua Cosmica:  Science Fiction from Around the World, Fourth Wave Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Extrapolation, Humanities Bulletin, Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Proverbium, The Griot, English Language Notes, College Language Association Journal, and The Maroon: Journal of Arts and Letters.  Her gothic/horror novels are Left Hand of the Moon and The Books of Joy Trilogy: Burning Streams, Blood of Angels and Chain Dance; she has edited the anthologies Love and Darker Passions and Tales in Firelight and Shadow. Her short stories and poems also appear in Nightlight, The Horror is Us, What the Flame Whispers, Candle in the Attic Window, Safari, Forced from the Garden, I Have Consumed Destruction, and several Guild Press collections.

Registration and Membership Coordinator

Amanda Firestone
University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida USA

Amanda Firestone is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Tampa. As a Feminist Media Studies scholar, she teaches a variety of classes like Visual Literacy, Media and Society, Intro to American Cinema, and courses in advanced Cultural Studies. She's spent a lot of time critically dabbling in the universes of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Alice in Wonderland. Currently, Amanda is working with Leisa Clark on their upcoming edited collection about Young Adult Adaptations and Social Justice. This book will join Resist and Persist, Harry Potter and Convergence Culture, and The Last Midnight in their ongoing efforts to curate critical media analyses for undergraduate students. Amanda is also an avid knitter, runner, baker, letter writer, and gardener. 

Student Caucus Representative

Andrew Erickson
Flensburg, Germany

Andrew Erickson researches and teaches anglophone literatures and cultures, with a particular focus on contemporary speculative fiction. Recent publications foreground anti-intellectualism and contested histories as well as the critical Black posthumanism of American disaster fiction. He is co-editor of Transnational Literatures und Literary Transfer in the 20th und 21st Centuries (Transcript 2023), and his in-progress PhD project understands postapocalyptic speculative fiction by Black writers through the lens of enslavement and settler colonialism. Andrew currently serves the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts as Student Caucus Representative. Research interests include postcolonial and transnational literatures, knowledge transfer, science communication, science and speculative fiction (esp. Afrofuturism), posthumanism, and digital humanities.

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