Slow Catastrophes, Speculative Futures, Science & Imagination: Rewriting and Rethinking Sustainability

slow-catastrophes-uncertain-revivals-cover-525x600Slow Catastrophes, Uncertain Revivals (2016, free eBook) features 5 stories created by students in “Slow Catastrophes, Speculative Futures, Science & Imagination: Rewriting and Rethinking Sustainability”, a course by Michele Speitz at Furman University in South Carolina.

Taking inspiration from Project Hieroglyph‘s “visions for a better future” and an essay by Kim Stanley Robinson for the 2013 Worldwatch Institute Report (Is It Too Late?, .pdf), the course “challenged students to draw on multiple disciplines—across the sciences and the humanities—in order to create works of science fiction that might inspire us to address the multifarious complications bound up with climate change, that might embolden us to confront what some see as an impossibility: to be able to say ‘Yes, sustainability is still possible.’

Continue reading

Isabelle Stengers: “Matters of Cosmopolitics: On the Provocations of Gaïa”

520px-isabelle-stengersIn a long conversation with Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin, philosopher Isabelle Stengers shares her thoughts about what she calls the “post-anthropocene”: a state, or rather a frame of mind, where, having “desperately mess[ed] up what they, and many other earthly critters, depend upon“, humans accept that they are not longer alone at the centre of the planetary stage.

Continue reading

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming

9780262019842_0Fiona Raby and Anthony Dunne use design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies.

Their book, Speculative Everything (MIT Press, 2013), propose to use design as “a means of speculating about how things could be—to imagine possible futures.

Continue reading

Reading African SF

African Science-Fiction is incredibly lively and often (not always!) looks at the future in ways European readers are not accustomed to – like living alongside aliens (as minor gods, friends and neighbors, symbiots, etc.) rather than defending our ground against them. Global warming is also very present in stories from a continent that knows first-hand about warmth, desired or forced migrations, the dearth of water and the importance of biodiversity.

Continue reading