© CC

Eden goes Arizona!

Coming soon: Our exhibition will be shown at the University of Arizona. Accompanied by film screenings, lectures and variety shows, we once again invite you to plant-inspired thought experiments. Here and on our social media channels you can find all information about Eden in Arizona. 

© GSPoL

Booklet now online

You can now download the exhibition booklet here. With the booklet, we provide in-depth information on the exhibited texts and place them in their larger contexts.

Download

© WWU | Aline Klieber

Opening

On Sunday, the exhibition Eden? Plants between Science and Fiction opened in the Orangery of the Botanical Garden at the University of Münster. The numerous visitors were able to get an insight into the role plants play in science fiction literature and films. The opening speech by Katharina Scheerer (right) was held in front of a very interested audience, who then learned about the connection of plant representations in medieval studies from Prof. Dr. Silvia Reuvekamp, head of the Department of Medieval Literature at the German Institute of the WWU and member of the advisory board of the Graduate School Practices of Literature.

A lot will be going on in the two upcoming weeks as well: On Tuesday, May 17, at 6 p.m., Perry Rhodan author Christoph Dittert will read from his texts; on Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m., cultural scientist Dr. Solvejg Nietzke will give a lecture on Dark Green Monsters - Botanical Thought Experiments. And on May 24 at 6 p.m., the reading of the short story competition "Green Tales" will take place in cooperation with the Cultural Office! There will also be guided tours in cooperation with the Botanical Garden, more on our events page!

The booklet accompanying the exhibition can be found here: Download booklet

© WWU | Aline Klieber

Behind the Scenes

The exhibition is approaching in big steps! In the past few weeks, we have not only reported on our work areas and tasks with regard to the upcoming exhibition construction, but also interviewed some of our authors about their work. This resulted in exciting interviews, which you can now discover in our new subcategory Interviews!

Immerse yourself in the working world of science fiction literature and get an insight into the transformation of literature into an exhibition format!

Feel free to email us at eden.science-fiction@wwu.de with any questions, comments, etc.! We look forward to hearing from you!

© Zentrale Kustodie

Short Story Contest 2022

In cooperation with the Culture Office

For the 2022 short story competition, the we are in collaboration with the Culture Office looking for prose texts on the theme „Green Tales“.

From potted plants to garden greens to wild growth by the wayside – plants are everywhere. They provide shade, cure diseases and improve the air; but they can also be poisonous and become a deadly trap for some animals. Yet plants are considered passive, a misconception, as current research on plant intelligence and communication shows. Plants also play an important role in literature. Science fiction and fantasy texts in particular imagine grotesque humanoid plants and wild eco-scenarios. An exhibition of the Graduate School Practices of Literature will be dedicated to the representation of plants in this literature in May 2022. For this reason, the Cultural Office is also interested in stories in which earthly or intergalactic plants are more than just a backdrop. We are looking for innovative texts that take plants out of their role as bystanders and turn them into actors.

Students and staff of the WWU or students from another university in Münster can participate. The texts must not exceed 7,500 characters (including spaces). Since the texts are to be submitted anonymously to the jury, names may only be noted in the accompanying email. The winners will receive prize money totalling 1,500 euros.

Send your short story in German or English as a PDF file (text 1.5 lines) by 31.01.2022 to: kultur@uni-muenster.de.

The winning texts will be presented in an author reading during the exhibition and will appear in print.
 

Interview with Science Communication of FB09

The exhibition is taking on contours. The team is working at full speed to be able to present the exhibition in May 2022. Project manager Katharina Scheerer explained how the idea for the exhibition came about and how the work processes are proceeding in an interview with the Department of Philology's Scientific Communication. The informative interview can be read here.
 

Reading with Christoph Dittert, author of the "Perry Rhodan" series

As a long-time author of the Perry Rhodan series Christoph Dittert gave an insight into his work. The reading and the subsequent discussion with the audience dealt, among other things, with the work in the authors collective (e.g. with a view to ensuring consistency and coherence) and questions of scientific communication or mediation, in particular the importance of scientific groundwork and the influence of the reader:s or the fan community.

See below for an interview about the event!

Guest Lecture and Workshop by Dr. Julia Grillmayr

We had the opportunity to host Dr. Julia Grillmayr from the Kunstuniversität Linz for a guest lecture on 20th october and a workshop on 21th october 2021 with the participation of our team members. In the lecture, Dr. Grillmayr shared with us her valuable experience at the Center for Science and Imagination of the University of Arizona, and her research on the potentialities of science fiction for widespread change. Thanks to the excellent questions posed by the members of the audience, Dr. Grillmayr was able to expand further on science fiction’s capacity for making a difference in the world.
During the workshop, we had the chance to do a close reading of several texts that brought science fiction together with the vast transformative power that plants possess. Donna Haraway’s essay 'Tentacular Thinking', Eva Hayward’s 'Ciliated Sense', Vilém Flusser’s 'Vampyroteuthis Infernalis' and Nnedi Okorafor’s novel 'Binti' were among the texts that were discussed. The lively debate that ensued following the close readings provided a productive insight in how tentacular thinking theoretized in essays is used in literary texts. We are very grateful to Dr. Julia Grillmayr for her contribution to our project and we look forward to seeing her again!

© GSPoL

Speculations, Fabulations, Incantations – Science Fiction, contemporary futurology and how to change the world

Talk by Dr. Julia Grillmayr (Kunstuniversität Linz) on october 20

“We want a good story, but also a good conversation about the ethical and social dimensions of the technology and science.” Joey Eschrich from the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University is teaching engineer students how to write a Science Fiction Prototype, a “hopeful, ambitious, technically grounded vision of the future”. SF prototyping, developed by futurist Brian David Johnson, is part of a growing trend of Science Fiction inspired futurology and futurism. While these fields share a common history and always have had several common goals, it can be observed that scenario thinking methods that use SF as a tool are currently booming. The resulting texts typically read like Science Fiction short stories, but are written and received in a different context: Think tanks initiate public Calls for Stories, universities integrate speculative scenario sketching in their teaching and publish anthologies of science-based future visions, futurists and SF writers work alongside in projects for community organizations, private companies as well as the military. Dr. Julia Grillmayr has visited these projects in the USA and analyzed them from a cultural studies perspective.
On Wednesday, October 20, at 6 p.m. in JO1 (Johannistraße 4) she will present her work and talk about the contribution science fiction can make to futurology.

© Eden

The project in social media

The preparations for the exhibition are in full swing. Impressions of the scientific research, the creation of the scenography and ideas of the team members are now also shared on our Twitter and Instagram channel. Here you can also admire the poster of the exhibition, which was designed especially for the project. We look forward to the exchange about horror plants or idyllic space gardens.

Photos

© Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber
  • © Aline Klieber

We have been working on our exhibition for a few weeks now. Lately we have mainly read a lot of books, watched movies and thought about how we can present our research results as appealing as possible. Last Friday (August 27) we had a slightly different appointment: We met at the Botanical Garden of the WWU Münster to take photos of the team for our website.