Speculative Archives: Hidden Histories and Ecologies of Science Fiction World-Making


ACLS Fellowship Program


Literature and Ethnic Studies


This book analyzes connections among the world-making projects, hidden histories and ecologies, speculative fiction, and archival memory-work of Judith Merril, Alice B. Sheldon (pen name James Tiptree, Jr.), Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Nalo Hopkinson. Part One begins with Merril’s founding of the Spaced-Out Library as an educational experiment at Toronto's Rochdale College and reconstructs Merril's foundational work creating institutional spaces supporting Hopkinson and others. Part Two turns to Le Guin’s and Tiptree's Papers and the feminist science fiction archive at the University of Oregon. Part Three considers Butler’s archiving as a practice of world-making rooted in Los Angeles hidden histories and situates it as an ecological intervention within the Black Radical Tradition.