Speculative Ecofeminist Futures

Hosted by Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Rana Jaleel and Cultural Studies PhD candidate Xan Chacko.

The aim of this reading group is to explore the exciting intersection of speculative science fiction and feminist visions of ecological futures. We will try to understand the applications of an ecofeminist framework, practice, and philosophy, as evidenced in the literary genre of science fiction.

Each of the members of the reading group will contribute suggestions for the group that arise from each of our projects. Some preliminary recommendations include works by China Miéville, H. P. Lovecraft, Paolo Bacigalupi, Octavia Butler, Frank Herbert, Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin, and Joanna Russ.

We will use this opportunity to think generatively about how each of our projects can be enlivened by considering fictional future narratives. Each of our projects engage with science and futurity head-on. We are commited to understanding how non-human entities are understood and made in relation to particular networks of human interactions and meaning-making endeavors. Whether landmines, dogs, microbes, genes, seeds, or cities, the non-human subjects of our respective research projects have lives that are always/already in excess of what our human interlocutors can evince. Science fiction allows us to imagine how these entities could interact with the world beyond the duration and scope of our projects.

Most of us are writing our dissertations and it is particularly exciting to be able to read work that pushes clear past our own perceived limits of what academic writing ‘should’ be. The aim is not to add to our individual workloads but to share works that inspire each of us in our projects and to use the community of readers to broaden our engagement with those texts.


Meeting 1: September 28, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Meeting 2: October 16, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

Meeting 3: November 14, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Datura by Leena Krohn

Further meetings TBD.

Open to all. For more information, including meeting locations, please contact .