Weird Fictions Research Group invites you to a talk by
Alison Sperling
(Technische Universität Berlin):

Weird Fiction and Ecological Thought

This event is a part of the EcoGothic Landscapes series organized by the Weird Fictions Research Group members and their invited guests.

This fall we are talking about the messiness, the horror and the beauty of a transversal, intra-connected, deeply enmeshed world of human and non-human animals, plants, fungi… and more.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
at 5:00 p.m.

You can get 2 OZN points for participating in this event.

This event is less a classic lecture and more of an informal conversation between Alison Sperling and Filip Boratyn. And we’re hoping the conversation will eventually overflow and enmesh everyone involved in our Zoom meeting.


This is an online event. To attend, click the button below or enter into your browser, and join the meeting.


This meeting will lay out some key concepts useful for thinking the relation between contemporary (New) Weird fictions and ecological thought. After a brief overview of the Weird, we will look at some recent examples of recent Weird fiction (primarily U.S. based) that focus explicitly on ecological and environmental issues, including works by Jeff VanderMeer, Margaret Atwood, N.K. Jemisin, Rita Indiana, Elvia Wilk, Caitlin Kiernan, and others. The presentation and discussion will pair questions of ongoing crises, unknowability, estrangement, anti-anthropocentrism, and other possible tenets of weirdness with how we confront climate change and other conditions of the Anthropocene, particularly through theories of queer and feminist ecologies.


Alison Sperling is currently an International Postdoctoral Initiative Fellow (IPODI Fellow) at the Technische Universität Berlin in the Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Frauen und Geschlechterforschung (Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies). She works on weird and science fictions, feminist and queer theory, contemporary art, and the Anthropocene.

Filip Boratyn is a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Humanities, University of Warsaw. His dissertation project focuses on the cultural work of enchantment in the contemporary ecological imagination. He recently received the 2020 David G. Hartwell Emerging Scholar Award from the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts for his paper “Magic(s) of the Anthropocene: Enchantment vs. Terroir in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach.”


The ASC is switching to remote-only teaching

December 2, 2021

Due to the worsening pandemic situation, the ASC is switching to remote-only teaching from Monday, December 6 until December 17, 2021.


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2021

The ASC Director’s wishes all students and workers good health, loads of optimism, and every success!

American Studies Colloquium Series

December 2: ‘Ain’t I a woman?’: Sojourner Truth, Feminist Theory, and the Unstable Category of ‘Woman’

November 22, 2021

Katrin Smiet’s lecture is devoted to the unstable category of ‘womanhood’ discussed from the perspective of power structures. This talk traces the feminist thinkers of the late 20th century to discover different answers to Sojourner Truth’s question: ‘Ain’t I a woman?’

American Studies Colloquium Series

December 9: Sham Ruins, A User’s Guide

November 21, 2021

What is it that sham ruins ruin? This talk focuses on a number of American sham ruins, and new meaning they impose. The reevaluation of sham ruins helps in understanding what makes a freshly minted broken object attractive in any period.

American Studies Colloquium Series

November 18: Studying Authorial Fingerprints – On Stylometric Study of American Literature

November 18, 2021

In this talk, Michał Choiński will demonstrate how stylometric study of literature may help more traditional, qualitative approaches to American literature by regrouping texts based on their regional affiliation, tracing an editor in a text and solving the issue of problematic authorship.