How Does Science Fiction Speak?

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, researcher at KULTRANS, is visiting the Science Studies Colloquium Series. The lecture is open for everyone.

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay

The lecture is part of the Science Studies Colloquium Series, and is open for everyone. The lecture lasts from 14.15-15.00. Shortly after we open up for questions, comments and discussion.

Abstract: This talk will discuss three science fiction novels published in the last decade: Air: Or, Have Not Have (2004) by Geoff Ryman, River of Gods (2007) by Ian McDonald, and The Windup Girl (2009) by Paolo Bacigalupi. All three novels were well received and well awarded, Air won the Arthur C. Clarke, the BSFA and the James Tiptree, River won the BSFA and was nominated for the Hugo and the Clarke, and Girl swept many awards, including the Hugo, the Nebula, the Cambell and the Locus. These novels demonstrate the tendency in recent science fiction to study the impact of globalisation, in this case, in Asian countries. Air is based in the fictional country of Karzistan (a fictional analogue of Kazakhistan), River of Gods in India, and Girl in Thailand. In all three novels, cultural transformation is presented as negative or ambiguous by these foreign writers who sympathise with the narrative of third world exploitation, either as a consequence of globalisation or neocolonialism. This talk will explore the consequences of this trend in science fiction, and ask the question: how does science fiction inform our understanding of the cultural and economic impact of scientific exchange, and the narrative of development?

Published June 11, 2013 10:09 AM - Last modified Sep. 16, 2015 1:16 PM