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The Global and the Planetary: Thinking CoFutures

In this talk, Dr. Chattopadhyay will present the contemporary moment in SF and genre theory, especially the discussion that there is somehow a new "global" genre of SF, where writers and their works from around the world can now find a place. This global of the genre is maintained in academic dialogue and discussion, as well as popular media. Especially with theorisations in new futurisms such as Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, Latin American futurism, Latinx Futurism, Indigenous Futurisms etc, this “global turn” in SF studies, inspired by contemporary literary studies, is one where deep literary histories are elided through labels or subsumed under a hierarchy of futures, futurities, and ethnofuturities. CoFutures clashes with the global turn, arguing that this turn either purposefully or unwittingly reproduces assumptions about futures and futurities, and what forms of storytelling are recognized for future making.

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay leads the international research group CoFUTURES, and is the principal investigator of two major research projects, “CoFutures: Pathways to Possible Presents” (European Research Council), and “Science Fictionality” (Norwegian Research Council which explore contemporary global futurisms movements from a transmedial perspective, including literature, film, visual arts, and games). He is manager and co-founder (with Moumita Sen) of Theory from the Margins, a research collective with over 16,000 followers worldwide. Chattopadhyay is an Associate Professor of Global Culture Studies at the University of Oslo. He is also an Imaginary College Fellow at the Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University. He has served as an innovations consultant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has been a visiting researcher at the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine and the Evoke Lab/Calit2, as well as the Department of English, University of Liverpool. He has served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Fafnir: Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, and the Journal of Science Fiction. He is also founding co-editor (with Taryne Taylor) of the Routledge book series Studies in Global Genre Fiction. Chattopadhyay has written or edited ten books, published numerous articles, exhibited in six transnational art projects, and produced the award-winning film Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey, the first documentary on science fiction from India and Bengal. His latest work is the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of CoFuturisms – coedited with Grace Dillon, Isiah Lavender III, and Taryne Taylor – a 400,000 word essay collection featuring a stunning range of work from around the world on contemporary futurisms, including Indigenous Futurisms, Afro and African futurisms, Latinx and Latin American futurisms, and Asian Futurisms. Other than his research and artistic research grants, he is also the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious World Fantasy Award (2020), the Johannes H Berg Memorial Prize (2019), the Foundation Essay Prize (2017), and the Strange Horizons Readers’ Poll Award (2013). His research website is: