Accepted Paper:

Science fiction as a path to explore ecological futures and worlds in preparation: representations and imaginaries of the habitability of the (technologized) planet  


Yannick Rumpala (Université de Nice)

Paper short abstract:

The contribution will show how science fiction deals with ecological dimensions and planetary habitability. It will especially seek out adaptation pathways that appear closer to the register of hope.

Paper long abstract:

Should humanity prepare for life on a less and less habitable planet? If, given the magnitude of human activities, the challenge is to think about their consequences, it is useful to explore what imaginative foundations can be used as a basis for collective reflections. From this point of view, science fiction may have the advantage of having anticipated the movement. By initiating and accumulating thought experiments, it offers a cognitive reservoir and a reflexive medium. Its representations are also a vehicle for interpreting the world. One of the few places where one can see "future generations" live, act and organize is science fiction and its imaginary constructions.

The contribution will first show how science fiction, when it deals with ecological dimensions, can be in its way a problematization of planetary habitability and of related technoscientific issues. The second will show the limits of the classical divide between utopia and dystopia and propose a reopening of the possible modes of apprehension of imaginable futures, precisely by considering the science fiction narrative as a vector of projective exploration of the future. While defending the idea that it is better to take science fiction productions as lines of flight (in the sense of Gilles Deleuze), the third section will aim at identifying and classifying science fiction that, in environmental matters, searches for new or different directions (particularly compared to the currently dominant model). The contribution will thus seek out adaptation pathways that appear closer to the register of hope.

Panel T028
Futures in the making and re-making