Racial Fictions, Biological Facts: Expanding the Sociological Imagination through Speculative Methods

  title={Racial Fictions, Biological Facts: Expanding the Sociological Imagination through Speculative Methods},
  author={Ruha Benjamin},
The facts, alone, will not save us. Social change requires novel fictions that reimagine and rework all that is taken for granted about the current structure of society. Such narratives are not meant to convince others of what is , but to expand our own visions of what is possible : It is 2064. A reparations initiative that allows victims of police brutality to regenerate organs is well underway. A major new component of the initiative will be unveiled for the fiftieth anniversary of the… 

Writing sociological fiction

The value of fiction for public sociology and within qualitative research is well established. However, questions about process remain. Drawing from three contemporary projects – a novel, a series of

Historical Fiction as Sociological Interpretation and Philosophy: on the Two Methodological Registers of W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Black Flame

Abstract:Between 1957 and 1961, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote a lengthy work of historical fiction, a trilogy collectively titled The Black Flame (1957, 1959, 1961). Through the lenses of four American

The data will not save us: Afropessimism and racial antimatter in the COVID-19 pandemic

An interpretation of racial antimatter is offered to explain why the data will not save us in the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on articulations of racial spectacle and structural gaslighting within critical race theory and Afropessimist thought.

Weirding Utopia for the Anthropocene: Hope, Un/Home and the Uncanny in Annihilation and The City We Became

In this paper we argue that Anthropocene conditions call for and are already calling forth weird utopias. The Anthropocene speaks to a fundamental geological shift as humans become the dominant

Introduction to the Special Theme on Responding to Anti-Blackness in Science, Mathematics, Technology and STEM Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided yet more evidence of the impacts of injustice across intersecting raced, gendered and classed lines. For Black people, the pandemic is further exposing the brutal

Intertextual design: the hidden stories of Atari women

At Atari Women, a research project investigating historical contributions of gender minorities within the computer gaming field during the 1970s and 80s is presented.

Editorial: Speculative Worldings of Children, Childhoods, and Pedagogies

The cover image for this special issue is a painting titled “Crossing Reality Portal” by Alejandro Darío Pizarro Chellet, a Mexican multidisciplinary artist and permaculture practitioner who works at

Special Issue: Racisms in Qualitative Inquiry: Recognitions and challenges

In this article, I explore how race and the body are central to social and education research on Black males. The guiding question of this essay is, How has the Black male body been conceptualized

Decolonizing place in early childhood studies: Thinking with Indigenous onto-epistemologies and Black feminist geographies

This article aims to center Indigenous onto-epistemologies and Black feminist geographies in considerations of place, environment, and “nature” in early childhood studies. We consider how these

Speculative Child Figures at the End of the (White) World

The child-future join is pervasive in childhood studies and popular culture. Instead of disavowing the relation, I consider what might be generated if we “stay with the trouble” of its cocomposition



Innovating inequity: if race is a technology, postracialism is the genius bar

ABSTRACT In this essay I posit race as a kind of technology, one that creates parallel universes and premature death, requiring routine maintenance and upgrade. I suggest that David Theo Goldberg’s

BEYOND FACT OR FICTION: On the Materiality of Race in Practice

What is biological race and how is it made relevant by specific practices? How do we address the materiality of biological race without pigeonholing it? And how do we write about it without reifying

People's Science: bodies and rights on the stem cell frontier

in a provocative essay, argues that different positions held by the USA and India in the structure of international capital have produced vastly different modes of biomedical subjectivity in those

What Wounds Enable: The Politics of Disability and Violence in Chicago

This paper is about what wounds reveal about the diversity among stigmatized groups. My argument is that the focus on mitigating social difference within the disability rights movement has

Renegade Dreams: Living through Injury in Gangland Chicago

Every morning Chicagoans wake up to stark headlines that read like some macabre score: "13 shot, 4 dead overnight across the city," and nearly every morning the same elision occurs: what of the nine

The Ends of the Body--Commodity Fetishism and the Global Traffic in Organs

A the neoliberal readjustments of the new global economy, there has been a rapid growth of “medical tourism” for transplant surgery and other advanced biomedical and surgical procedures, which has created a global scarcity of viable organs.

Are We All Postracial Yet

Preface 1 The pasts of the postracial 2 Postracial conditons 3 Postracial logics 4 Postracial subjects 5 Are we all postracial yet?


sometimes in the morning when it’s still and silence is the only noise before the town turns on and the people put on their day faces, it creeps to my window out of the black and catches me off guard

Racial fictions , biological facts : Expanding the sociological imagination through speculative methods

  • Catalyst : Feminism , Theory , Technoscience
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