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Saturday, October 6 • 9:00am - 10:25am
Innovating Visions of the End and After

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Amitav Ghosh's 2016 The Great Derangement arrives as a timely indictment of so-called serious contemporary fiction (specifically in the Realist mode) for its silence on our global climate catastrophe and for actively concealing the cultural mechanisms that shape and sustain our slide toward extinction. On the potentials of innovative writing, however, Ghosh positions himself somewhat ambivalently. He sidelines sci-fi and cli-fi for engaging in the traits of genre, foregrounding the improbable in their visions of post-apocalyptic futures or the spectacularized moment of collapse. He dismisses modes of the irreal (focusing narrowly on Surrealism and Magical Realism) for trivializing as allegory or imaginative invention the definitively real, if seemingly improbable, evidence of climate change. Yet, in a subsequent passage, Ghosh speculates on the potentials of televisual images, the Internet, and transmedia to represent and to consider how life on Earth may respond to its own end and what may come after. Contra Ghosh's premise about the inherent primacy of Realism's seriousness, this panel is interested in how performances of innovative writing, across media, have been making, and will continue to make, visible the complex networks of political, social, cultural, and environmental action and inaction that have shaped the downward spiral of the Anthropocene. Indeed, given innovative writing's inherent resistance to dominant narratives and paradigms, in its multiplicitous approaches to representation, narrative, character, and materials, it may be the mode best suited to addressing the linkages between the micro- and macroscopic, the personal and more than human, emergencies of our time.


Gretchen Henderson

Gretchen Henderson writes across genres, disciplines, and geographies to cross-pollinate creative and critical practices. She is the author of four books of nonfiction and fiction, as well as poetry chapbooks, opera librettos, and artistic media works. Her latest book on Ugliness... Read More →

Noy Holland

Noy Holland is the recipient of the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her latest book, I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like, New and Selected Stories, was published by Counterpoint in January 2017. Her novel, Bird (Counterpoint... Read More →
avatar for Michael Mejia

Michael Mejia

Associate Professor, University of Utah
Author of the novels TOKYO and Forgetfulness, Editor-in-Chief @ Western Humanities Review, Co-founding editor @ Ninebark Press, Associate Professor @ U of Utah

Miranda Mellis

Miranda Mellis is the author of Demystifications (forthcoming, Solid Objects). Other books include The Instead, The Spokes, None of This Is Real, and The Revisionist. She is an occasional columnist at The Logger. She co-founded and co-edited The Encyclopedia Project and teaches at... Read More →

Saturday October 6, 2018 9:00am - 10:25am EDT
129 DeBartolo Hall

Attendees (5)