The TrekWars@OSU collective (Dr. Randall Milstein, Dr. Joseph Orosco, and Dr. Jason Scully) gathered together again to discuss the best science fictions stories of 2021. We chose to talk about those sci-fi narratives that most impacted us in some way, either by engaging in innovative storytelling or by engaging us in thinking about future possibilities in new ways.
Our choices for best science fiction for 2021 were:
We all agreed that the science fiction product that most underwhelmed us was : Dune 2021.
Along the way, we noticed that the theme of rendering care to young people was a growing theme in a lot of science fiction stories this year. We also discussed whether science fiction in the last thirty years has been hemmed in by a cyber punk aesthetic (blended with a neoliberal capitalist reality) that makes it very difficult to imagine, in Jason Scully’s words, a future of “exuberance”.
Let us know what you think. Did we miss something you think helps us grow a radical imagination (quite frankly–there was a lot)? (You can also watch our Best of Sci-Fi 2020 here.)
In this episode of our podcast, Conversations on Anarres, we sat down with dancer and filmmaker Shane Scopatz to talk about his new work “Steps and Strikes”. Shane is a recent graduate of the Master’s Program in Environmental Humanities at Oregon State University. His film hopes to address the provocative question: Why did the environmental movement fail to protect us from ecological crisis?
We sat down with Shane to discuss his answer to this question We talk about the way in which global capitalism has dispossessed billions of people and created the conditions for climate catastrophe. But we also talk about the ways in which people resist–using the labor movement to build organized people power against corporate control of the environment. The big issue today is: How do we bridge the labor movement and the environmental movement?
An answer to this involves the way Shane has chosen to resist: that involves dance. Invoking the legacy of a radical dance movement from the 1930s, the Worker’s Dance League, Shane has decided to explore how dance can be a way to expand the radical imagination and get us to think about the ways to build connection between social movements. Art in general, but dance in particular can help to develop emotions like joy and ecstasy and sustain a guiding vision toward a more collective, just, ecologically attuned future.
During the Occpy Wall Street, groups of activists organized a spaced called the people’s library. Thousands of books and magazine were organized to be available for free to whomever wanted to come to the encampment and find literature and radical scholarship that could help them make sense of Occupy or the issues behind the movement. The People’s Liberary inspired dozens of other projects in across the country where local activists tried to make books and other media available as part of collctive liberation efforts When the encampment in Zucotti park was finally demolished by the police, most of those books were confiscated and ended up in the landfill.
We recently sat down to talk to someone who is working in Albuquerque New Mexico to build a project with similar goals and aspirations. Fiadh is an activist who has created the The People’s Library of ABQ. She has been an anarchist organizer in many different spaces for a while now, but within the last year decided to create a lending library of radical books and zines. The People’s Library ABQ describes itself as “a community project of leftist theory anarchist history and radial education. We have books about queer, feminist, antiracist theory, indigenous resistance, transformative justice, philosophy and revolutionary thought”
We sat down with Fiah to discuss her inspirations for the project and to learn how it works, and how she would like it to grow in order to offer works that inspire the radical imagination to a broader audience.
You can watch the full interview at our YouTube channel:
Elle Stanger recently spoke at the Opening Spaces for Radical Imagination Conference at Oregon State and mentioned federal legislation targeting sex trafficking that would, in effect, place sex workers into more dangerous working conditions. Upon the signing of this legislation by President Trump on April 12, 2018, Stanger prepared several short videos calling for its repeal and asked that they be shared.
Video: Fosta/Sesta does not distinguish between sex trafficking and consensual sex work
Video_1: Why the removal of online sites will push sex workers into trafficking and more dangerous situations.
Video_2 Why Fosta/Sesta will make the lives of LGBT sex workers and people of color even more dangerous. It will also erode privacy rights for the general public.
Walidah Imarisha was one of the keynote speakers at the first Opening Space for the Radical Imagination Conference at Oregon State from April 6-8, 2018. Walidah Imarisha is co-editor of the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) book, co-published with AK Press, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements and author of IAS/AK Press book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption.
Her talk was entitled: Dreaming New Futures: Science Fiction and Social Change.
Silvia Federici is a leading Marxist-feminist scholar. Her work exposes how capitalism maintains itself by refusing to pay for the cost of its own reproduction (such as the emotional and care work that goes into producing human beings). This talk was co sponsored by the Coalition of Graduate Employees, Anarres Project, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at OSU.
In March 2017, author Alexander Reid Ross visited the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures to describe the way in which fascism as intellectual movement draws on a variety of traditions, both from the right and left. In that way, it can infiltrate many different social movements from within. His latest book is Against the Fascist Creep from AK Press (2017)
As part of the Anarres Project series, Revolution: Past-Present-Future, we hosted author Kevin Van Meter in a community conversation about his new book Guerrillas of Desire: Notes on Everyday Resistance and Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible.
Behind the smiling faces of cashiers, wait staff, and workers of all sorts, a war is going on, usually without the knowledge of official political and labor organizations. Guerrillas of Desire begins with a provocation: The Left is wrong. It’s historical and current strategies are too-often based on the assumption that working and poor people are unorganized, acquiescent to systems of domination, or simply uninterested in building a new world. The fact is, as C.L.R. James has noted, they “are rebelling every day in ways of their own invention”: pilfering, sabotaging, faking illnesses, squatting, fleeing, and counter-strategizing. Kevin Van Meter maps these undercurrents, documenting the history of everyday resistance under slavery, in peasant life, and throughout modern capitalism, while showing that it remains an important factor in revolution and something radicals of all stripes must understand.
As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the Anarres Project presented Dr. Randall Milstein (OSU Honors College and College of Science) discussing the cultural and technological impact the series has had on society and everday life. He discussed the ways in which Star Trek prefigured contemporary technology, as well as the way in which the series maintains a hopeful attitude toward the role of technology in building a future post scarcity utopia. (October 2016)
A multi-media journey about arts, media, and land defense in South America. With original photographs, maps, and short films accompanied by live narration, this presentation shares a glimpse into the communities defending their territories in the face of resource extraction industries.
Presented by the Beehive Design Collective, Movimiento Rios Vivos, Allied Students for Another Politics (ASAP!), the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures, and the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University.
The views expressed in this and all of our videos are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of OSU or its administration, faculty or staff. The goal of this, and all of our public events, is to serve as a catalyst for debate of a variety of viewpoints on important themes.
On November 13th, we were proud to host two presentations from the Beehive Design Collective at Oregon State University. The first presentation was an analysis of their massive two-part graphic entitled Mesoamérica Resiste.
9 years in the making, this double-sided, folding poster illustrates stories of resistance, resilience, and solidarity from Mexico to Colombia. A map drawn in old colonial style depicts the modern invasion of megaprojects planned for the region… and opens to reveal the view from below, where communities are organizing locally and across borders to defend land and traditions, protect cultural and ecological diversity, and build alternative economies.
The stories in the graphic come from current struggles, but are also rooted in the legacies of over 500 years of colonialism in the Americas. A banner across the top reads, “Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up” – reminding us that we are in an era of extreme loss of cultural and ecological diversity and rapid climate change. Through the lens of Mesoamerica, the graphic tells the big picture story of what’s at stake across the globe with the neoliberal model of “development,” and what we’ve already lost.
The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist arts collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools. They work as word-to-image translators of complex global stories, shared with them initially through conversations with affected communities. You can learn more about their work at: http://beehivecollective.org
This event was co-sponsored by:
Corvallis Rising Tide, the Anarres Project for Alternative Future [http://anarresproject.org/], Allied Students for Another Politics (ASAP!) [http://asap.moonfruit.com/], the School of History, Philosophy, & Religion at Oregon State University. http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/shpr