Organization: NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association)
Climate change and impending ecological crises make clear, we are running short of time. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that we have until 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5C. Assuming that the status quo endures, at the start of this conference, we will have fewer than six years remaining on that deadline to make significant changes. Much of the damage we now need to recover from is a direct result of a myopic view of time:the greed for quarterly profits and how much wealth an individual can accumulate during their own lifetime. But what if we could think of the future not as a scarcity of time, but an abundance? A part of a Haudenosaunee teaching Winona LaDuke uses to open All Our Relations reads, “Our past is our present, our present is our future, and our future is seven generations past and present.” The time is going to be there; the question is, what are we going to do with it?
This panel is interested in how we can think intentionally about time beyond the rubric of disaster aversion. Papers may consider texts within genre fiction like science fiction and speculative fiction as well as readings of more canonical literature that are interested in history, different timescales, or stories that are carried through generations. Questions to consider include: What can we learn from the imaginings of possible futures or the (re)tellings of often forgotten pasts? How can different conceptions of time help us to better understand and adapt our current moment? What might we learn from trans-human conceptions of time?