AMST 149A — The Future as History

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What does art have to say about the future? What new ways of conceiving of, and caring for, the future have literary and visual texts devised over the past two centuries? In exploring the art of the future of the past two centuries, you will read sci-fi & fantasy by authors like Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, N.K. Jemisin, and Ursula Le Guin, as well as texts like Invisible Man and Velvet Goldmine that set the future not in worlds to come but in the narrative potential of the present and times gone by. By attending to alternative temporalities and their genres—queer, spectral, cyborg, planetary, and many more—we will engage topics of major importance like reparations, environmental catastrophe, and liberation theology. By the end of the semester, we will develop a new understanding of time and its relation to history. Usually offered every second year.