Antecedents to climate change fiction: Utopian and speculative narratives from South Asia (episode 2)

Antecedents to climate change fiction: Utopian and speculative narratives from South Asia (episode 2)

Date and Time

Date: 28 February 2024

Time: 1 pm GMT/UTC; 6.30 pm IST

About the episode

In this session, we will focus on conceptual and narrative antecedents to contemporary climate change fiction in the region. The focus is thus on the archive of imaginative responses to the alienation of humans from nature in the wake of the introduction of the colonial and post colonial development paradigms.

Utopian, visionary and speculative narratives from South Asia have sought to engage with consequent environmental degradation and the ecological crisis in different ways. From Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain to Rahul Sankrityayan, from Tagore and Gandhi to Sunderlal Bahuguna and Medha Patkar, from Jagdish Chandra Bose to Vandana Singh, we have seen compelling formulations and modes of visionary futurism that have set up alternative templates for the future. The panelists will in their own way track the possibility of critique and seek to trace the genealogies for the recent turn to climate change fiction in South Asia.

Panelists

Suparno Banerjee – Suparno Banerjee is a Professor of English and an Honorary Professor of International Studies at Texas State University specializing in science fiction, utopian/dystopian literature and film, Indian literature and culture, and postcolonial studies. He is the author of Indian Science Fiction: Patterns, History and Hybridity (2020).

Maya Joshi – Maya Joshi teaches Literature at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi. She has researched and published on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, utopian fictions from India, and on aspects of philosophy, culture, and history, especially Indian-nationalist and Buddhist. She has been closely studying, writing on, and translating the polymath Rahul Sankrityayan, most recently as a Fulbright post-doctoral scholar.

Aseem Shrivastava – Aseem Shrivastava is a writer, teacher and ecosophical thinker with a doctorate in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Tarun Saint – Tarun K. Saint, independent scholar and writer, was born in Kenya, and has lived in India since 1972. He is the author of Witnessing Partition: Memory, History, Fiction. He has edited the Gollancz Books of South Asian SF (vols. 1 and 2), and co-edited the cli-fi anthology (with Francesco Verso) Ecoceanic : Southern Flows, among many other volumes.

Recording