(Image Source: “What I Dreamed Of”, created by Dennis Meene )
For the folks in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, I am part of a panel that the USC Annenberg school for Communication and Journalism is hosting: The Science Fiction and the Civic Imagination Forum will be on January 30th at 3 pm. It would be great to see some of you folks there. The panel will be co-moderated by Henry Jenkins and Tok Thompson. The panelists are as follows:William Lempert, Nalo Hopkinson and Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad. Here is the full description of the panel from the official website at USC.
Science fiction has long provided resources — compelling narratives, rich metaphors — through which we might explore alternative possible directions for technological and social change, especially at a time when profound and prolonged periods of change disrupt established ways of thinking. Throughout most of the 20th century, science fiction, however, was a genre by, for, and about white men and thus offered a narrow range of visions of tomorrow. In recent years, though, a range of groups have sought to speak their truths through speculative fiction and used its language to map past and future trajectories. In this session, we will explore a range of different movements within science fiction that reflect the perspectives of post-colonialist, Afrofuturist, Indigenous, and Muslim creators and audiences, each making claims for the future through their particular deployments of the genre’s core building blocks. This forum will engage the multiple strands of futurism in contemporary science fiction which have helped to diversify what voices can be heard and opened up new modes for thinking through contemporary issues and future aspirations in American society. Bringing these diverse and alternative conceptions of the future together allows us to debate more richly the directions we want to see our society take.