Speculative fiction includes a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, African- and AfroFuturism, dystopian fiction, climate fiction, and more. All of these genres use different forms of world-building to deeply engage with current issues and explore possible futures. By asking the question, “What if…?” authors invite readers to confront our hopes and fears and imagine better worlds.
To what extent do these “What if…?” questions reflect universal human concerns? In what ways are they windows into the cultural contexts of specific authors?
This ORIAS summer institute will feature short works from around the world. Participants will read, view, and analyze short works from a variety of regions, using speculative fiction as a lens to understand and contextualize current issues in the real world. We’ll explore the role of speculative fiction in helping students develop cultural literacy and experiment with teaching methods that encourage creative engagement with works of fiction.
The Summer Institute is open to k-12 teachers across disciplines. See the World As It Could Be program website for more information.