Eco Not Techno: Science Fiction’s (Re)Presentations of Nature
18 February 2014 5:00 pm at SAUL Studio
Speaker: Tom Moylan
We will begin with looking at science fiction as a modern art form creative that can deliver critical and creative outlooks on the world that generate thought experiments that respond to problems and possibilities in the present day. We will then talk about how we humans think about our relationship with nature, as we work between two extremes wherein the first positions humans as dominant over nature and the second includes humanity as part of nature (although a self-aware part). From there we will review various ways in which science fiction has addressed nature: in terms of eco-disasters or ecocide; of ecotopias; and of the interface between humans and nature.
Tom Moylan is Glucksman Professor Emeritus in the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and the Founder and Co-Director of the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies (where he is also one of the editors the Ralahine Utopian Studies Book Series). For the past four years, he has also been an Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture, teaching a fifth-year elective module on utopian thought and practice; and he has recently worked as a supervisor in the postgraduate research-through-practice programme at the Burren College of Art and the National University of Ireland-Galway. He is the author of two monographs on utopian and dystopian science fiction (Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination and Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia) and numerous essays on utopia, dystopia, theology, pedagogy, and political agency. He is co-editor of Not Yet: Reconsidering Ernst Bloch (with Jamie Owen Daniel), Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination and Utopia-Method-Vision: The Use Value of Social Dreaming (with Raffaella Baccolini), and Exploring the Utopian Impulse: Essays on Utopian Thought and Practice (with Michael J. Griffin). He has co-edited special issues of Utopian Studies on Ernst Bloch, Fredric Jameson, Irish Utopias, and Utopia and Music. In 2009, he was given the Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award by the Society for Utopian Studies.