Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future


About the Cluster
This research cluster focuses primarily on “fictions” of the future, that is, on creative “worldings” that take, as their premise, the outcome of particular technological/scientific findings in the present day, projected outward in their social, ethical, and philosophical implications toward the future. But it does not confine itself to future imaginings exclusively; as with many speculative fictions popular today, this research cluster also hopes to explore ways to imagine aspects of past scientific/technological findings that might—or might have—effected alternative social/planetary futures to the one that now constitutes the present. Thus this 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 (they are “fact-based”); and that they are fictions, that is, crafted imaginings of a world or worlds, in all their richness. By convening a group of colleagues skilled in interdisciplinary conversation, storytelling, and visual, aural, and performative arts, 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.

Principal Investigators
Carla Freccero (Literature and Histcon)

Faculty Participants
Anthony Aguirre (Physics)
Zac Zimmer (Literature)
Soraya Murray (FDM)
Vilashini Cooppan (Literature)
Camilla Hawthorne (Sociology)
Michael Chemers (Theater Arts)
Megan Moodie (Anthro)
Neda Atanasoski (Feminist Studies)
Martin Devecka (Literature)
Micha Cárdenas (Arts & Design: Games and Playable Media)
T.J. Demos (HAVC)

Graduate Student Participants
Chessa Adsit-Morris (HAVC)
Matt Simmons (Literature)
Nathan Osorio (Literature)
Courtney Valdez (Literature)
Courtney Kersten (Literature)
Kirstin Wagner (Literature)
Michael McCarrin (Histcon)
Jane Komori (Histcon)
Elana Santana (Feminist Studies)
Maggie Edge (Lit)
Stephen David Engel (Histcon)

Postdoc Participant
Cathy Thomas (UCSC Lit PhD; UCR postdoc with Nalo Hopkinson)

Other Participants
Janina Larenas (Literature Department)

News & Events
Call for Submissions: The Coha / Gunderson Prize in Speculative Futures 2022