‘Dwelling in disrupted worlds’ paper & ‘Critical worldbuilding in practice’ panel @SFRA ‘Disruptive Imaginations’ conference, Dresden, Aug 17 and 18, 2023

At the 2023 Sciene Fiction Research Association‘s and Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung‘s joint conference ‘Disruptive Imaginations‘ in Dresden, I presented a paper and co-hosted a panel.

Dwelling in disrupted worlds. Emancipatory home-making as critical world-building in Octavia Butler’s Parables

Paper presented by Frank Müller & Anke Schwarz

This paper explores two strategies of emancipatory home-making in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of Talents. Drawing on geographical literature on home and migration, we examine home-making, first, as a political strategy of the self, and second, as critical world-building. The analysis allows for conceptualizing home-making as procedural, transformative practice, unsettling anthropocentric and nativist conceptions of home. Thinking home through SF affords ways to disrupt the disruption of lifeworlds on a planetary scale through human-induced climate crisis, authoritarianism, and violent othering along categories such as race and gender. We argue that our take on home-as-dwelling in a disrupted world adds to geographical literatures an understanding of home as a middle ground between extraterrestrial escapist tendencies, and the introvert isolationism of the homely enclave. The writing of Butler calls on critical geographers to rethink emancipatory home-making as a texture woven from domestic architecture, multispecies community, and geopolitical imaginations in search for posthuman kinship.

Aug 17, 2023, 9:30 AM

Critical worldbuilding in practice: Reflections on a teaching experiment

Panel with Paul Hübener, Anja Küchler, Selina Münning, Alexandra Nestler, Anne-Marie Reichenbach, Rebecca Rothmann, Carolin Alice Schenk, Alexander Tajmar. Chairs: Pauline Mai, Moritz Ingwersen, Anke Schwarz

In this panel students and lecturers from TU Dresden will offer a reflection on the experimental, interdisciplinary seminar “Critical Worldbuilding | Kritische Weltbildung” (summer semester 2023), in which student groups from the Geography and English departments co-designed a range of interactive and creative strategies to foster sustainable and equitable worldmaking in times of crisis. Drawing on self-developed worldmaking games and featuring an immersive audio-visual performance, we invite the audience to think with us about transformative pedagogies for better worlds using SFF methodologies of aesthetic estrangement and ecotopian speculation.

Aug 18, 2023, 9:30 AM

Full conference program at https://disruptiveimaginations.com/