Planet of Cities: Urban Environments and Narrative Futures
In 2008, humanity crossed a historical boundary: more than 50% of the global population now lives in cities, and future population growth will mostly occur or end up in urban areas. This means that humans’ most important habitat now and for the future is the city, a historical shift that entails important ecological as well as social and cultural consequences. “Planet of Cities” will focus on the new interest in urban ecology in disciplines as varied as architecture, biology, design, literary studies, political science, and urban planning through the lens of narrative. How are the city and its relation to nature being envisioned in contemporary fiction and film? What narrative strategies work and which ones fail when it comes to imagining the environmental futures of rapidly growing cities? How do stories focusing on the present and future of cities integrate human and nonhuman actors and networks? The presentation will approach these questions theoretically and through a comparatist analysis of urban narratives from different regions and languages, with a particular focus on science fiction.
All are welcome; no registration is required!