Indigenous Science Fictions for a Polluted Future

So many of our technologies and our narratives about technological futures position tech as ephemeral, invisible, and pure information without a material “body,” but these same technologies are designed to become obsolete–to become trash almost as soon as they are purchased. Imagining the future of trash is therefore an important part of grappling with the anthropocene. As Evan Calder Williams has said, “anther world is necessary, but only built from the gutted hull of this one”–so, what could this trashed and gutted future look like? I’ll be looking at examples ranging from the trash planet Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok, to the Indigenous cyberpunk novel Red Spider White Web, to consider how Indigenous science fiction texts imagine a trashed future very differently from mainstream western sf.

Stina Attebery is lecturer at the California Polytechnic State University

Stina received her doctorate from the University of California, Riverside in 2020. She specializes in science and technology studies (STS), ecocriticism, and media and game studies, with a particular focus on Indigenous STS. She’s currently working on two projects: Data Earth: Digital Animals in the Age of Extinction, which looks at the digital aesthetics of extinction art, and Refuse Ecologies: Indigenous Posthumanism in Polluted Futures, which explores pollution and the posthuman in Indigenous futurisms. She serves as the Division Head for Film and Television for the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts and as an external editorial board member for Studies in the Fantastic.