Just Futures: Speculative Arts and Social Change
November 22, 2019
Oregon State University
The Anarres Project for Alternative Futures calls for abstracts for this multidisciplinary symposium that aims to bring together scholars, activists, and community members to consider the ways in which speculative arts can help us to diagnose social injustices in the present moment, and to imagine the ways we can catalyze solidarities to achieve more just futures.
Our understanding of speculative arts broadly encompasses the literature/film/television genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, and alternative histories. We seek the ways in which social justice and liberatory social change can be conceptualized through a variety of speculative lenses and themes including, but not limited to:
Major science fiction and fantasy franchises: Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, etc
Superhero and Villain universes: Avengers, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, X-Men, etc.
Literary Icons: Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Samuel Delany, Phillip K. Dick, N.K. Jemisin, W.E.B. Du Bois, J.R.R. Tolkein, etc.
Video and Role Playing Games : Halo, World of Warcraft, Fortnite, Minecraft, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.
Comic Books and Anime.
Presentations may be paper presentations, workshops, or poetry/prose readings. They may address some of the following themes and problematics, but are not limited to them:
• Gender and Sexualities
• White Supremacy
• Ableism and Disability
• Alternatives to capitalism
• Models of friendship
• Human relationships with technology, artificial intelligence, robotics
• Genetic enhancement and transhumanism
• The role of the Environment/non-human animals/creatures
• Future ecological scenarios
• Alternatives paths of co-evolution
• Cross Species Relationships
• The role of women-femmes
• The role of people of color
• The role of children/young people
• Ambiguity around “good guys” and “bad guys” in social conflicts
• Family/found family/lineage/heritage
• Class hierarchies
• Immigration, citizenship, and belonging
• Cultural appropriation and Orientalism
• Heroism through necessity
• The significance of names/naming
• Utopia, dystopias, heterotopias
Please send an abstract for your presentation of no more than 300 words by September 20, 2019. Each presentation will have approximately 20 minutes.