“There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.” —Octavia Butler
Visionary fiction, as described by writer, educator, and scholar Walidah Imarisha, is fantastical literature that helps illuminate existing power dynamics and imagines paths to creating more just and sustainable futures. This course explores work in which writers from around the world have stretched the boundaries of their imaginations to defy existing and dominant narratives of their time and imagine new ways and solutions. In Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel, a nomadic group of actors and artists survive a global disaster and take great risks to preserve art and humanity. Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World
follows a young Mexican woman navigating her way to the United States to retrieve her brother while traversing boundaries between reality, fantasy, and mythology. M Archive
, by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, examines the poetic, speculative artifacts of a future researcher uncovering evidence of racism, environmental crisis, and the “possibilities of being that exceed the human.” Additional readings include short works and excerpts from Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Eduardo Galleano, Ted Chiang, Alyssa Wong, Rivers Solomon, Dion Brand, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Octavia Butler. Along with analytical writing, students exercise the bounds of their own imaginations by writing a short work of visionary fiction.