Science Fiction: The War of the Worlds

Jan Vanvelk

The War of the Worlds is an early science fiction text, in the sense that it was written before the term “science fiction” would even have made sense to anyone. In it, Martians are invading the earth in order to harvest humans’ life energy (literally human blood). The story speculates explicitly on what that would mean for its reader’s conception of what it means to be human, what it means to be exploited, and of what it means to be subjected to an event that shatters existing and comforting notions of the self, the world, and one’s place in it. This lecture will try to present these various challenges, seeking to investigate the way in which this early text of science fiction still informs our own understanding today and how its legacy might be more persistent than one could expect from a text written more than a century ago.

Guest speaker: Dr. Jan Vanvelk

This event is part of the exhibition No one would have believed. It will be held partly of fully online depending on the COVID-19-situation. Reservation is necessary and opens soon.