A Symposium on S-F/Sci-fi and Planetary Healing at Tamkang University in Tamsui, Taiwan
(November 12, 2016)
Entitled “Writing S-F and Giving Voice to Planetary Healing,” this one-day symposium was held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at Tamkang University in Tamsui, Taiwan. It is our belief that, while the generic focus of Sci-fi is mainly on the hypothetical and the apocalyptic fate of the humans, our approach to S-F should not be limited to Sci-fi exclusively; we need to encompass speculative fiction in its most inclusive import and diverse forms. On the strength of this “generic double-dipping,” we engage in critiquing Anthropocene—by way of cross-disciplinary studies—not just to relentlessly investigate the on-going trends of human conquest and mastery of the natural worlds, but to respond critically to the humans’ dubious pursuit of technological supremacy.\We deploy the mode of S-F to explore the involution, devolution and fickle permutation of West-led social evolution and its lopsided growth and progress as evidenced in petro-modernity, carbon-democracy, nuclear proliferation, population explosion, disease control via biomedicine, etc.
Equally viable and necessary is the call for cataclysmic healing by way of empowering the human imaginary in connection to therapeutic landscapes. We have witnessed provocative visions articulated through speculative literature and film as powerful alternative testimonies to the jaded and often biased official accounts in reliving the outbreaks of human-made environmental disasters. We’re revisiting the writings of “Seeking roots,” and “Native-soil” movements in post-trauma China and Taiwan of the 1980s to spur cultural rejuvenation, and the on-going revival of early modern health renovation in Japan and the rest of Asia. We seek open dialogues among informed scholars and activists; we foster synergy for ways of thinking, modes of writing and life practices on S-F and planetary healing in the hope of yielding renewable forms of sustainability in urban growth, “stewardships” in resource consumption, disaster prevention and restorative relief.
Since the closing of the symposium, ASLE member Dr. Xinmin Liu (Washington State University) has been officially invited to guest-edit a special issue of the Tamkang Review for summer, 2017. We publish this news to invite interested scholars and activists to join us in our next project. A CFP for the Tamkang Review special issue is forthcoming shortly. For further information, please contact Dr. Xinmin Liu at [email protected] or Dr. Peter I-min Huang at [email protected].