The course that North America is on in the present moment can make imagining a liveable future seem like an impossible task: an increasing gap between rich and poor, continued warfare, and the looming disaster of environmental collapse. One response to this by writers has been to represent an apocalyptic future, often including zombies, climate catastrophes, and biological pandemics.
This seminar is not about these writers. Rather than the relative luxury of being able to imagine a future-world that is worse than ours, some writers – typically minority writers – argue that the world is already pretty apocalyptic in 2018. These writers choose to use the imaginative potential of science fiction and speculative fiction to rewrite our collective future. By tackling the social injustice of the present, these writers invite us to imagine our future differently.
Specifically, this intermediate literature class will focus on global science fiction from the last two decades, including short stories, novels, and films. Our texts will address topics such as: race, indigeneity, LGBTQIA+ and gender rights, mass incarceration and police violence, immigrant rights, and environmental devastation, and colonialism/settler colonialism.