Joseph Ren

My dissertation, "The Ends of the World-System: Science Fiction During Periods of Hegemonic Collapse," studies turn of the century British science fiction to more fully comprehend the conditions of the present. I approach the period through its historical situation of imperial decline and through the fossil fuels (coal) at the heart of its transnational economic, social, and political system. I study its science fictional imaginations of the future, mainly constellated around the threat of social collapse occasioned by future war, invasion, or resource scarcity, then emergent in order to elucidate how cultural production narrates the historical tendencies of intensifying industrialization, the formation of the military-industrial complex, economic stagnation, and increasing turmoil in the world-system.

I'm interested in questions of energy transition, postcolonialism, imperial culture, and cultural figurations of economic decline. 

Current Research Interests

Historical materialism, environmental humanities, cultural studies, political economy, imperialism, history of capitalism

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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