University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Speculative by Design: New Perspectives on Early Science Fiction

Date & Time:
March 1, 2017 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
BI 561
Dr Stefania Forlini

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities is pleased to present a talk by Dr. Stefania Forlini, Speculative by Design: New Perspectives on Early Science Fiction

Wednesday March 1, 2017 | 3PM | BI 561

Because of the sheer volume of printed materials, anyone involved in tracing the history of a literary genre has had—out of necessity—to rely on representative sampling. The use of information visualization techniques and other forms of “distant reading” of large corpora have promised to revolutionize literary history, but questions remain about the suitability of employing science-based visualization techniques for humanistic inquiry. Working with the Bob Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction, this project argues for a speculative, exploratory approach to literary history that employs a collaborative visualization design process to interrogate interpretive categories and underlying epistemological assumptions while also provoking consideration of neglected literary materials collected by science fiction fan and artist, Bob Gibson.           


Stefania Forlini is Associate Professor of English. Her areas of research include late nineteenthcentury literature and science, digital humanities theories and methods, and material culture studies. Her current SSHRC-funded work on the Gibson collection is in collaboration with Dr. Uta Hinrichs, Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and a co-director of the St Andrews Computer Human Interaction (SACHI) research group. Together, Forlini and Hinrichs have presented and published their collaborative work for audiences in literary studies, digital humanities, and information visualization.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow and all are welcome. 

Connect with us