Grants | 23 February 2022

CFA: The Coha-Gunderson Prize in Speculative Futures


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


The Coha-Gunderson Prize
The Speculative Futures THI Research Cluster announces a 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.

UC Santa Cruz undergraduates and graduate students from any department in good academic standing may apply.  Works may be collaborative. Preference will be given to students enrolled through fall 2022. Students are ineligible to apply while on leave or in absentia.

Initial Submission Date: March 18, 2022. Finalists may be invited to workshop and further develop ideas. The award(s) will be made in spring 2022 and dates may be set for a reading, performance, or exhibition of the winning project(s).  Winners will be congratulated and announced to the general public at the Humanities Awards Ceremony on June 3, 2022.

Up to two awards will be made of $1000 each.

About the Cluster
The THI cluster on 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). 

The cluster 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,

To Apply:  Applications should include two separate PDF documents: 

1) An application, submitted as one pdf, that contains the following:

  • a cover sheet including your name, year, affiliation, and contact information
  • a brief, 1-2 page description of your entry, including plans for further development if the work is still in progress
  • your resume or CV

2) A submission, as a separate PDF.


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

Questions? Please contact Carla Freccero and cc