Rap Music, Censorship, Abolitionism and Radical Listening: A Live Conversation with Wanda Canton (Online and in Person — 7th February 2023)
January 4, 2023
The Radical Feminism of Shulamith Firestone: A Live Interview with Victoria Margree (Online and In Person. 21th March 2023)
February 13, 2023

Dystopia: A Live Conversation with Patricia McManus. (Online and In Person. 28th February 2023)

In this session we will be talking to Patricia McManus about the politics of dystopian fictions, their relationship to utopian literature and what theorists like Theodore Adorno can teach us about this subgenre. The core question to be explored is: are dystopias a consolation to us, less a warning than a reminder that things could be worse.

From George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four to William Gibson’s Neuromancer,  dystopian fiction has conjured dark and unsettling visions of alternative ‘future’ societies. As distant as these worlds may appear, they are also familiar to us, paralleling our own lives as a warning or commentary on real existing social forces and their dark potentials. According to Patricia McManus, this type of fiction is “differentiated from others not so much because it is about oppression or about suffering but because it is about the organisation of oppression and suffering.” Like utopian literature, Dystopian literature is about the organisation of society. Yet whilst utopian literature constructs dramatic narratives around an imagined good place, dystopian literature focuses on suffering or oppression. Although utopia and dystopia may appear as opposites, McManus discusses the “dense imbrication of utopia and dystopia”, exploring the complex Interrelationship between the two sub-genres and their parallel histories. Taking us on a journey through George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale, J. G. Ballard’s Hello America, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, E. M Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’, Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants, Leni Zumas’ Red Clocks: A Novel, Alfonso Cuarón’s film adaption of P. D. James’ Children of Men, Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, and Lionel Shriver’s The Mandibles, Patricia McManus’ Critical Theory and Dystopia critically engages with a range of literature from the 20th and 21st Century.

This session will take place both online via Zoom and in person at The Artist Residence, Brighton, UK. The Artists Residence can be found on 33 Regency Square, Brighton, BN1 2GG. Join us in Venue from 7pm and online from 7:30pm (UK time). To book a free place in the venue, click here. For any questions, please message me at explodingappendix@gmail.com

This session will be run as part of the Exploding Appendix Avant-garde Art Practice and Research Group’s meetup which happens every three weeks. The sessions are free and open to everyone. For our upcoming sessions from January to June, see here.

The online session will also take place via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81587820171?pwd=VVJFaWd4a3JVMEdCUVpCRTZKS1QxZz09). The meeting ID is 815 8782 0171.  The passcode is “664081”.

This session will be run by Bradley Tuck and take place on Tuesday the 28th February 2023 from 19:00 – 22:00 (UK time). If you have any questions, please message me at explodingappendix@gmail.com