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ABSTRACT Jun 01
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Back to No Future: Seeing Behind and Beyond Reproductive (Climate) Futurism (SAMLA 96)

Jacksonville, FL
Organization: SAMLA
Event: SAMLA 96
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2024-11-15 to 2024-11-17 Abstract Due: 2024-06-01

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Affiliated Panel


Back to No Future: Seeing Behind and Beyond Reproductive (Climate) Futurism


Twenty years ago Lee Edelman published No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive, in which he coined the term “reproductive futurism” and argued that political debate is framed in “terms that impose an ideological limit on political discourse as such, preserving in the process the absolute privilege of heteronormativity.” The figure of the Child, not to be confused with actual children, is the ubiquitous image of reproductive futurism’s limitations. “Queerness,” Edelman says, “names the side of those not ‘fighting for the children’” (3). How, then, in the twenty years since No Future was published, have artists and scholars queered the discourse on climate change, steeped as it often is in the rhetoric of “for the children”? If, as Edelman has said in a recent interview, “The very idea of futurism is that the future is not simply what will come next; the future is the image of what already has been and must be preserved,” is a future-oriented climate politics “for the children” a recipe for repeating the past that led to the precarious present? What are writers, filmmakers, artists, and scholars doing in the present to disrupt and offer alternatives to narratives of this paradoxical and impossible “future”? Presentations that incorporate the SAMLA theme of “Seen and Unseen” are especially welcome. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

—The uses and abuses of linear narrative as it relates to heteronormative reproduction
—The figure of “the Child” in representations of climate change and/or its relation to literal children leading campaigns for climate justice
—Banned books in service of “protecting the children.”
—The rise in popularity of narratives of child sex trafficking and its relation to “the Child”
—Any other topic related to the theme

By June 1st, 2024, please send proposals of 300 words or fewer, a brief bio, and any A/V presentation requests to Will Underland (wtunderl@go.olemiss.edu)

wtunderl@go.olemiss.edu

Will Underland