The Fictions That May Save Us, Vandana Singh in Conversation with Mark Soderstrom
[W]e depend on other species, we depend on the biogeological forces that move mountains and unleash the vagaries of weather and climate. We depend on these for our very survival. The trouble is that modern civilization conceals and dismisses these connections . . .. There is something pathologically wrong with a paradigm that obscures the deepest and most essential connections between ourselves and the rest of nature. Science fiction . . . at least offers us the possibility of a way out . . . through the intelligent and wide-ranging exercise of our most powerful tool, the imagination.
Vandana Singh, “Science Fiction in the Anthropocene“
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CONVERSATION BEGINS AT 1:00 P.M. (EASTERN) ON SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 2022 [CLICK HERE TO JOIN ON ZOOM]
In this Earth Day-inspired conversation, writer Vandana Singh joins Shelter & Solidarity’s Mark Soderstrom to examine the role that our imaginations may play in helping humankind reconnect with other species and the material conditions of our existence – relationships that are critical to human survival.
Vandana Singh is a writer of speculative fiction and a professor of physics at a small and lively public university near Boston. Her critically acclaimed short stories have been reprinted in numerous best-of-year anthologies, and her most recent collection, Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories (Small Beer Press and Zubaan, 2018) was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award. A particle physicist by training, she has been working for a decade on a transdisciplinary, justice-based conceptualization of the climate crisis at the nexus of science, pedagogy, and society. She is a Fellow of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. She was born and raised in India, where she continues to have multiple entanglements, both personal and professional, and divides her time between New Delhi and the Boston area. She can be found on the web at http://vandana-writes.com/.
Mark Soderstrom has been a professional blacksmith, carpenter, labor organizer, and musician. He is now an associate professor in the MALS and Work and Labor Policy programs of SUNY-Empire State College. He has published work on labor history, history of science, oral history, neoliberalism, and speculative fiction