Grants | 7 October 2022

CFA: The Coha-Gunderson Prize in Speculative Futures, 2022-2023


Call for Submissions: The Coha-Gunderson Prize in Speculative Futures


Application Deadline: November 4, 2022

The Coha-Gunderson Prize
The Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future THI project announces its fourth and enhanced campus-wide competition, open to undergraduate and graduate students, for a creative piece of (social or scientific) speculative fiction, which can be in any medium or genre but must be available for review and assessment by cluster members and ultimately shared with the public, whether through an exhibition, a performance, a proposed course, or future publication. Submissions may be individual or collaborative. It is preferred that submissions be based in actually existing worldly conditions, discernible in the submission itself.

About the Award

Several successful years of awarding the Coha/Gunderson Prize in Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future have encouraged us to expand the scope of the competition to include a collaborative group workshop to more fully develop prizewinning projects through expert faculty guidance and peer review. A spring quarter exhibition/event will showcase the winning projects in a more fully realized form.

Prizewinners should be prepared to participate in a Winter quarter workshop that meets for approximately three hours every two weeks, including one logistical meeting before the quarter begins, and to prepare for an exhibition in Spring quarter. Students may wish to have a faculty advisor who works with them on their project by supervising an independent study or tutorial during Winter quarter. 

The awards will be made in late November 2022 and dates will be set for the workshops and exhibition of the winning project(s). The first meeting to decide logistics for the winter quarter schedule will be held on Friday December 9, 2022.

UC Santa Cruz undergraduates and graduate students from any department in good academic standing may apply.  Works may be collaborative. Preference may be given to students enrolled during the entire academic year 2022-2023. Students are ineligible to apply while on leave or in absentia.

Application Deadline: November 4, 2022

Up to five awards will be made of $2000 each.

To Apply:  Applications should include the following: 

1) A cover sheet including, name, year, affiliation, contact information, and a brief 1-2 page description of the entry, including plans for further development if still in progress.

2) The entry itself 

3) Your resume or CV


*PLEASE NOTE: You must be logged into your Google account to use this application form.

Questions? Please contact Carla Freccero and cc

The THI Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future and awards are made possible by alumni James Gunderson (Philosophy, Rachel Carson College, class of 1977 and member of the UCSC Foundation Board of Trustees) and Peter Coha (Math, Kresge College, class of 1978). 

About the Project

The Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future THI project focuses on “fictions” of the future: creative “worldings” that take, as their premise, the outcome of particular technological/scientific conditions or social situations in the present day, projected outward in their social, ethical, philosophical and imaginative implications toward the future. As with many speculative fictions popular today, we also hope to explore ways to imagine aspects of past scientific/technological findings and conditions/situations that might—or might have—effected alternative social/planetary futures to the one that now constitutes the present (however defined). Thus, the cluster explores and develops its visions from a range of temporalities, with two consistent dimensions: that whatever worlds are imagined and created, they develop some aspect of the social, physical and/or biological sciences as they were or are understood; and that they are fictions, that is, crafted imaginings of a world or worlds, in all their richness. The research cluster proposes to foster and enhance the creative capacities of students, faculty and the public alike to concretely and creatively imagine lifeworlds in the near to farther future. To join the cluster’s Google group, email PI, Carla Freccero, Distinguished Professor of Literature and History of Consciousness,