Past PKD Days

PKD-Day 2016

Last years PKD Day was hosted by Birmingham City University.

Philip K. Dick’s cultural stock has continued to rise since his untimely death in 1982, and with the past year seeing the release of Amazon’s series based on his counter-historical The Man in the High Castle, the trend seems set to continue. Dick’s science-fictional thought experiments are the countercultures that precede the culture, the culture-beds in which new cultures are cultivated. But how do we read Dick’s engagement with the radical psychoanalytic, marxist, feminist and race movements of the 1960s and 70s in light of his burgeoning ubiquity? How might we vouchsafe the subversive potential of his legacy?

This interdisciplinary one-day conference seeks to explore evolving conceptions of culture and the countercultural through the lens of the life and works of a countercultural figure who appears to be in danger of recuperation.

This event is co-organised by Dr Thomas Knowles and Charlotte Newman.


  • Keynote: Umberto Rossi, ‘Vinyl and Tapes: P.K. Dick and the Reproduction of Sound’
  • Philip K. Dick and Psychology panel featuring: Dr Souvik Mukherjee (Presidency University, Kolkata) joined us live from India to talk about Philip K. Dick and computer games. Dr Pelham Carter (BCU), ‘A Maze of Death: Implications for CyberPsychology and Virtual Worlds’. Professor Craig Jackson (BCU), ‘Occupational Psychology in Dick’s Future Worlds’.
  • Philip K. Dick and Visual Media panel: Steven Chamberlain (BCU), ‘FilmBites’: introduction and screening. Mattia Petricola (University of Bologna), ‘An advertisement for the undead: watching television in Ubik’. Paul Levinson, ‘The Man in the High Castle: On Print and Screen’.
  • Creative Panel: Featuring readings from Dr Derek Littlewood (BCU), Dr Imogen Marcus (BCU), Charlotte Newman (BCU) and novelist David Wake.
  • Discussion Panel: The Man in the High Castle. Chaired by Professor John Goodridge and students from BCU’s third-year science fiction module.


Previous years’ PKD-Days have been held at Nottingham Trent University and has seen some interesting and intriguing contributions to the study of Philip K. Dick including:

PKD-Day 1

  • Underground, Overground: Bomb Shelters, Suburbia and Philip K. Dick’s The Penultimate Truth (Dan Cordle, NTU)
  • Phildickian game theory: ‘Blade Runner’ (Souvik Mukherjee, NTU)
  • PKD and Escapism (Emrys Jones, Cambridge University)
  • Philip K. Dick on film (Mahendra Solanki, NTU)
  • Writers on PKD: Graham Joyce and Ian Watson in conversation

PKD-Day 2

  • Which PKD Story are we in today? (Palmer Eldritch)
  • Videogames: Playing in a Dickean Universe (Dr. Barry Atkins)
  • Tomorrow’s History, Yesterday’s Futures: Philip K. Dick’s Versions of the 1950s (Andrew M. Butler)

PKD-Day 3

  • Kindred Beings: Defining Humanity in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Lois Brown, University of Liverpool)
  • Responses to PKD (Jim Morrow, NTU)
  • ‘It had not worn the aspect of a simulation’: Reconceiving the Re3al in Do ANdroids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Daniel Laing, University of York)
  • ‘If you Find This World Bad, You should See Some of the Others’: PKD’s Videogame Worlds (Souvik Mukherjee, NTU)
  • PKD-Precog?’ (Anthony Peake)
  • Samizdat Presentations of PKD on the Web (John Goodridge, NTU)

PKD-Day 4

  • Visual Presentation of ‘Kipple Pond’ (Dr. Simon Schofield, NTU)
  • The Preserving Machine: Philip K. Dick and Music (Mark Herdman)
  • Synthesising the Synthetic, Realising the Real (Adam Wood)
  • David Gill on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, via video-feed (David Gill)
  • David Gill and Tessa Dick in Conversation with Souvik Mukherjee

Past PKD Days at Nottingham Trent University