Speculating Futures looks at past speculative narratives, like those of Ursula K. Le Guin, and past attempts at creating technological utopia, like Chile's Cybersyn. These readings examine the shortcomings that prevented these visions from being fully realized and how they may have been limited or exclusionary. These texts also tie these visions to the contemporary issues/present dystopias that need to be addressed in subsequent utopian imaginaries. To paraphrase Gibson, "Utopia and dystopia are here, they're just unevenly distributed." Feeling like there's a future is vital for moving through the present, so we'll also envision our own utopian futures to work towards.
This syllabus was first launched in December 2016 for The New Inquiry's Science/Fiction issue. It will probably never be complete; it's always open to suggestions. If you're familiar with GitHub, please don't hesitate to submit a pull request; if not, feel free to send suggestions to me on Twitter (@frnsys).
NB: Beyond session 1, these sessions aren't in a particular order. There's so much overlap and interaction between these topics that you can jump around as much as you want; the "session" structure is more of a loose guide. Reading "out of order" could lead to interesting connections~