Mining the Deep: Speculative Fictions and Futures

Event description

  • Free
  • Open to the public
  • Sustainability

Please join us for the 2023 Environmental Humanities Initiative Distinguished Lecture by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles: "Mining the Deep: Speculative Fictions and Futures." The in-person event takes place on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Biodesign Auditorium, B105 on the ASU Tempe campus. It is free of charge and open to the public.

The lecture examines the oceanic turn in the humanities, particularly what Gaston Bachelard once termed the “depth imagination.” It turns to the contemporary scramble for the minerals of the seabed as a speculative practice of extractive industries and capital, and places this in conversation with recent speculative fiction that imagines techno-utopian futures of human and more-than-human life under the sea. In doing so it raises questions about the ways in which particular kinds of literary genres and reading practices produce an extractive imaginary, with important implications for the oceanic and environmental humanities.

DeLoughrey's visit is generously supported by a grant from the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan and co-sponsored by the ASU Environmental Humanities Initiative, Humanities for the Environment and the UNESCO BRIDGES Sustainability Coalition, Flagship Hub.

The event, a presentation of the Indigeneity in the Oceanic Commons: Reclaiming Relations from Taiwan to Hawai’i symposium, is in conjunction with the fall 2023 ASU Humanities Lab Mediating Ocean Futures and is part of ASU Humanities Week.

About the speaker

Courtesy photo of Elizabeth DeLoughreyElizabeth DeLoughrey is the author of "Routes and Roots: Navigating Caribbean and Pacific Island Literatures" (2007), a study that engages land and sea in literatures of islands and archipelagoes, and "Allegories of the Anthropocene," which examines climate change and empire in the literary and visual arts (2019). She is co-editor of the volumes "Caribbean Literature and the Environment: Between Nature and Culture" (2005); "Postcolonial Ecologies: Literatures of the Environment" (2011); and "Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches" (2015). She is an advisory member of The Living Archive: Extinction Stories from Oceania Project and with Thom Van Dooren, was co-editor of the interdisciplinary open-access journal Environmental Humanities.

Sea floor image credit: Dimitris Siskopoulos on Wikimedia CommonsUsed under CC 2.0. 


Event contact

Joni Adamson

Thursday, October 19, 2023


4:30 pm6:00 pm (MST)


Biodesign Auditorium (B105)