Carnegie Mellon University
November 15, 2011

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Professor of English, DePauw University, and a leading authority on science fiction.

"Alien Earth: Science Fiction, Posthumanism, and The Planet."

Abstract: The international popularity of science fiction has made it one of the main vehicles of the social imagination of our hyper-modernizing, globalizing age. More than an artistic genre, it has become a way of thinking about things, in which contemporary concerns are projected into the future and into alien worlds. Science fiction is a child of the enlightenment, and reflects the Enlightenment’s drive to subject every supposedly natural category to critical reason and technological transformation. Science fiction artists were among the first to imagine the planet as a single thing, and humanity as a species being. Through the practice of “world reduction,” science fiction has produced an enormous variety of inhabited planets and simplified versions of our planet. Things may have reached a critical tipping point in our own age. Recent science fiction is engaged with posthumanist thought, which questions everything previous generations considered natural, including humanity and the earth itself.

Tuesday, November, 15, 4:30-6:00pm, Adamson Wing