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March 6, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Faculty/Administration #2339 | Map
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

The Humanities Center is proud to present as a part of its Brown Bag Series, a talk by Steven Shaviro, English, DeRoy Professor of English


Science fiction can be distinguished from other sorts of fictional narratives by the fact that it is set in the future. Science fiction does not claim actually to predict the future (and indeed its track record for actual predictions is pretty bad). Nonetheless, its future orientation is one of the most important things about it. In my current research project, to which my talk is an introduction, I am trying to trace out the consequences of this future orientation. I argue that, rather than being about the actual or historical future, science fiction is about what I call futurity -- that is to say, it is about tendencies and processes that point beyond the present moment. These are real, even though they may well never come to pass: which is why they must be represented in the form of fiction. Science fiction envisions futurity by engaging in literary thought experiments, and by deploying the techniques (or technologies) of extrapolation, speculation, and fabulation. In my talk, I will explore these techniques, and give some examples of how they work in science fiction.

These talks are free and open to the public! We also provide free coffee, tea, and cake!

For more information about this event, please contact Humanities Center at 3135775471 or