This is the first Leverhulme Lecture, held at Anglia Ruskin University on Mar 16, 2022, that I have given during my Leverhulme Professorship at the University of Leeds. Here is the transcript, a video of me talking and the slides/videos that I have used. Hope you can piece something together from this.Read More
Popular Imaginaries of the Digital as Science Communication
Here is the talk I gave at the International Center for European Studies at the Europa-Universität Flensburg on my current DFG proposal. It is a video with the SLIDES AS PDF, so you may need to download them.
Die Zukunft zu modellieren ist nicht einfach. Für bestimmte Fragen scheint dies jedoch mit Hilfe von Simulationen und Modellen besser möglich als für andere. So haben Carl Benedikt Frey und Michael Osborne an der Universität Oxford die Entwicklung von Automatisierung und Digitalisierung im Bereich der Arbeitsprozesse untersucht und Berechnungen erstellt, welche Berufe auch in Zukunft mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit von Menschen ausgeübt werden.Read More
Am 14.11.2019 eröffne ich mit dem Vortrag “Gespielte Zukunft: Utopische Räume im Videospiel” die Wintervorlesungsreihe der Katholischen Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. Es wird um Spiele als Raum für utopisches Handeln gehen, vornehmlich also um die aktive Erkundung dystopischer Welten, die Erschaffung eigener utopisch-dystopischer Narrative durch Spielerhandeln etc. Ich rede über BioShock, DayZ und bestimmt auch Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Imagining Alternatives – Speculative Fiction and the Political
11th Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft fuer Fantastikforschung (GFF) in cooperation with the German Popular Culture Studies Association (GPCA)
September 10-12, 2020, University of Augsburg, Germany
Author Ian McEwan’s recent claims that Science Fiction is not political enough are not only elitist, but also could not be farther from the truth. After all, any Speculative Fiction, no matter if it is Science Fiction, Fantasy, the Gothic, Horror, or any other variation of the fantastic, has always been political in that they make it possible for us to imagine alternatives to the lives we live – whether it is the warnings of dystopian works such as George Orwell’s 1984or more recently, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and its adaptation into a TV series that have resonated at times of #metoo and Trump. Alternate histories such as Man in the High Castle continue to keep audiences similarly engaged, while Harry Potter’s allegory on fascism has served as inspiration for political protest against right-wing voices, particularly for the millennial generation that has grown up with it. Star Trek’s humanist utopia is still going strong after 50 years, and its most recent installment, Star Trek: Discovery may in many ways be its most political yet – particularly given the controversies its spiked for its strive for diversity, bringing to the forefront larger issues surrounding certain sections of SF fans that want to claim the genre(s) as mere escapism without political ideology.
SF has also been used for political (Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged) or religious (scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s works or Tim La Haye’s Left Behind series) propaganda,furthershowing the cultural capital ofspeculative fiction.Jurassic Park has warned us of the ills of consumerism driving science, Tolkien’s works are not just ecocritical but also anti-fascist, and Doctor Who’s titular character continues to not only fight the Daleks, a thinly-veiled Nazi allegory, but has also recently visited Rosa Parks. Additionally, the recent surge in Climate Fiction, a genre originally advanced by hard SF writers, has built up optimism about the abilityof popular culture to not only portray but also ignite eco-political engagement.
This conference thus calls for papers on all forms and genres of speculative fiction and their engagement with the political, be it novels, film, television series, or immersive media such as games or theme parks.
There is generally an open track to submit papers on any SF-related topic, however, we specifically welcome discussions of such issues as:
- political ideology in works of SF, incl. fan-produced content based onthem
- the relevance of works of SF for resistancemovements
- utopia, dystopia, and the continued project to imagine thefuture
- depictions of minorities in SF and their politicalimplications
- general debates surrounding the politics of SF, transnationaldifferences/similarities
Please send abstracts (in English or German) of 300 words plus bio blurbs of 150 words to email@example.com byJanuary 15, 2020.
The GFF will offer travel grants of 250 Euros each for two (graduate) students attending the conference. Please let us know if you want to be considered when applying.
A conference homepage with more information will follow over the coming months, the conference Twitter handle is @GFF_11th.
Es hat sich etwas getan in Sachen Internationalisierung in den Science Fiction Studies – wo noch bis in die 2000er-Jahre hinein der einzig mögliche Austausch in den USA (und teilweise in Großbritannien) stattfand, da ist in den letzten zehn Jahren deutlich Bewegung in Forschungsgemeinde gekommen.Read More