CSWS Noon Talk: Joan Haran, “Imaginactivism: Science Fiction and Social Justice Projects”

October 26, 2016
12:00 pmto1:00 pm

Jane Grant Conference Room
330 Hendricks Hall
1408 University St.

Imaginactivism: Science Fiction and Social Justice Projects

a CSWS Noon Talk presented by visiting scholar Joan Haran

“What can we learn from the activisms of SF writers and fans and how can we practice our own research activisms? I suggest that exploring these questions is particularly urgent at a moment when institutions of knowledge production are being radically reshaped—for good reasons and bad—and when public policy is couched in the terms of ‘grand challenges’ that demand technocratic solutions. In this paper I explore questions provoked by my current project which analyses the relationship between fictional cultural production and social justice activism. The primary focus is on the attempt to adapt Starhawk’s ecofeminist utopian novel The Fifth Sacred Thing for the screen and the producers’ associated green and social justice plans.

Dr. Joan Haran

Dr. Joan Haran

“However, I want to think more broadly about potential roles for science fiction research in the contemporary moment. How might science fiction researchers support social justice movements? The editors of Octavia’s Brood, Walidah Imarisha and adrienne marie brown, have set one interesting example through their development of emergent strategy drawing on their reading of Octavia Butler’s work. I will reflect on these examples and some other projects of public scholarship to suggest how we might develop a proactive public critique of contemporary scientific innovations. Many of us were drawn to science fiction texts because they function as critique of science and society, but might we use those critiques more creatively to reshape science in ways that increase social justice?”

Joan Haran is the recipient of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship. For more about her research, go to: http://csws.uoregon.edu/imaginactivism-scholar-joan-haran-to-spend-two-years-at-csws-as-the-european-unions-marie-sklodowska-curie-global-fellow/