POST: Radical Speculation and Ursula K. Le Guin

Issue 12 of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology reimagines new media and technology in the works of science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin. The papers in the special issue were drawn from the December 2016 Tiptree Symposium at the University of Oregon, an event that celebrated Le Guin’s work.

Editor Alexis Lothian (University of Maryland) writes:

This issue, something of a sequel to Issue Three on feminist science fiction, invites alternate definitions of the key terms “new media” and “technology.” What new possibilities can be created when gendered politics interface with speculative technologies, with the technology of speculation itself? The six essays collected here offer a range of responses, united by their focus on what is made possible by the ongoing renewal and transformation of the worlds imagined by feminist science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin.

Lothian concludes with a testament to the power of speculative thinking:

We cannot rely on dominant narratives of progress, teleology, and development, on the overthrow of the old by the new. Yet the writings gathered here show that if we continue to speculate about worlds that radically differ from what dominant, heteronormative, colonial culture has taught us to perceive as realistic––and to critically engage with our own and others’ acts of speculation––we may arrive at possibilities we have as yet barely dared to imagine.

dh+lib readers will be interested in the connections between radical speculation and Bethany Nowviskie’s work on speculative collections.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Liz Rodrigues, Theresa Burress, Nathalie Chardon, Jodie Mader, Adam Griggs, and ​Arun Jacob (Editors-at-large for the week), Sarah Melton (Editor for the week), and Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Roxanne Shirazi, and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).