• Peter Frase’s Four Futures, Malka Older’s Infomocracy, and Some Futures for the Humanities (with maybe a little Shakespeare thrown in)

    Sujata Iyengar (see profile)
    LLC Shakespeare, TM Book History, Print Cultures, Lexicography
    Science fiction, Young adult fiction, Apocalyptic literature, Dystopias
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Hudson Strode Symposium on The Future of Teaching Shakespeare
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Alabama
    Conf. Loc.:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Conf. Date:
    February 2020
    cli-fi, Station Eleven, Malka Older, Kim Stanley Robinson, Peter Frase, YA fiction, Apocalyptic Literature, Book culture, Dystopia
    Permanent URL:
    I briefly survey the function of books, written artifacts, literary criticism and connoisseurship/curation in apocalyptic literature from Mary Shelley to Malka Older (with a nod to the Book of Revelation) and in contemporary Young Adult fiction and "cli-fi" -- science fiction and fantasy centered around climate change, such as Kim Stanley Robinson's California Trilogy, Octavia Butler's _Parable of the Sower_, Emily St. John Mandel's _Station Eleven_, Jeff VanderMeer's _Annihilation_, Neal Stephenson's _Seveneves_, and Malka Older's _Infomocracy_. If I were to revise it, I'd include a full reading of Butler and maybe some references to the relationship between books and learning in N.K. Jemisin's _The Fifth Season_. It might also be worth looking at Ursula LeGuin's _Wizard of Earthsea_ trilogy, but to do all that would really be to turn it into an essay on feminist apocalyptic cli-fi rather than the brief survey it is currently.
    This was the last paper I delivered in person before the pandemic; I've been unable to bring myself to return to it to revise, given the disaster-related topic.
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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