Popaganda Episode: Feminism and Science Fiction

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feminism and science fiction illustration

We boldly explore the connections between social justice and sci-fi: In fictional worlds where anything is possible, it's easier to reflect on what's screwed up about our own society.

First up on this episode is an essay on the character of Lt. Ellen Ripley and gender in the Alien series from the book Alien Woman. Then, poet, writer, and science fiction scholar Walidah Imarisha discusses the upcoming visionary fiction anthology Octavia's Brood and what the real world can learn from the work of Octavia Butler (and also why we should be rooting for the droids in Star Wars). Next up, Octavia's Brood co-editor Adrienne Maree Brown joins us to talk about what social justice activists can learn from science fiction. Finally, Sulagna Misra shares a personal essay about Contact, The Big Bang Theory, and growing up as a writer in a family of scientists. 

Throughout the show, check out Popaganda listeners' voicemails about the science fiction book that made them rethink gender and society. Thanks to everyone who called in!

This episode is sponsored by MPRESS Records

FULL SHOW: 

 


DEEP THOUGHTS ON ELLEN RIPLEY:

 


INTERVIEW WITH WALIDAH IMARISHA:

 


INTERVIEW WITH ADRIENNE MAREE BROWN: 

 


AN ESSAY ON FAMILY, SCIENCE, AND POP CULTURE:

 


CREDITS: 

Sulagna Misra's essay "The Laws of Familial Thermodynamics" was originally published on online literary magazine Midnight Breakfast. They publish a lot of great work—go eat it all up. 

The essay from Alien Woman was adapted for radio with the permission of authors Dr. Ximena Gallardo and C. Jason Smith. Alien Woman was released by Continuum Publishers. 

The beautiful "feminism and sci fi" illustration is from Voyage by Molly Mendoza. Voyage is a visual essay on the Voyager Interstellar Mission and is embedded with the themes of wonder, distance, and exploring places far away from home.


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by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media's online editor. She's interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

Great listen

Great podcast - I'm surprised that there was no mention of James Tiptree Jr. / Alice Bradley - as she's one of the greats of feminist sci-fi. Thanks for making this - looking forward to Octavia's Brood!

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