AMST 142
AlterNatives: Indigenous Futurism and Science Fiction Spring 2024
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed STS 142
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Indigenous people occupy a paradoxical position in time. As survivors of genocide, they are already post-apocalyptic, occupying what could be called “their ancestors’ dystopia.” But Indigenous people are also imagined to exist frozen in history, merely one step in the ceaseless march of civilization that brought us to the present. This tutorial explores how contemporary Native science and speculative fiction imagines and enacts futurity from this dynamic temporal position. Looking across numerous national and transnational Indigenous contexts, we will survey a diverse range of media, including short stories, novels, visual art, video games, films, and online platforms like Second Life. Pairing these with works in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), we will explore concepts like the Native “slipstream,” eco-erotics, post-post-apocalyptic stress, Native pessimism, biomedical speculative horror, and what it would be like to fly a canoe through outer space.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3549
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: participation, weekly 2- to 4-page written responses to class readings, short fiction prompts, and/or your partner's writing
Prerequisites: permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: first and second year students, American Studies majors, Science and Technology Studies concentrators
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
STS 142 Division II AMST 142 Division II
DPE Notes: Students in this course will explore the relationship between political violence, resistance, and speculation. We will develop close reading practices, analytical methods, and careful discussion dynamics to enable students to make sense and use of concepts like futurity, race, settler colonialism, gender, and technological determinism.
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora

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