Deep Wheel Orcadia. On SF, Language/s, and Empire

Fr19Jan19:30Fr21:30Deep Wheel Orcadia. On SF, Language/s, and EmpireConversation with Harry Josephine Giles | Pamela PernissVeranstaltungsartGespräch

Deep Wheel Orcadia Harry Josephine Giles

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Science fiction – and SF more generally – has long been a site as well as an instrument of both colonial and anti-colonial imaginations. In Harry Josephine Giles’s verse novel “Deep Wheel Orcadia” (winner of the 36th Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2022), this implication is addressed not only at the narrative level (the story of a return from the martian metropolis to the remote periphery, the space station Deep Wheel Orcadia), but also at the level of language/s. The book’s main text is written in a version of Orcadian, the dialect of the Scots language spoken in Orkney, or, in other words: a minority language within a minority language. Language thus becomes a protagonist, an agent of resistance.

For this event, Harry Josephine Giles will be in conversation with the linguist (and seasoned member of our SO FAR reading group) Pamela Perniss to discuss the reasons and challenges of writing in a minority language and how speculative fiction may offer a powerful model for minor literatures to critically engage with the dynamics of historical and contemporary forms of colonialism. We will talk about the linguistic background and literary strategies of “Deep Wheel Orcadia”, the history of the Orkney language and literature, and the role of Scottish speculative fiction in instantiating utopian and dystopian futures for Scotland (“Calefuturism“) and its double role in the world with regard to colonial enterprises.

The event is organised in cooperation with Otherland and is supported by Publishing Scotland.

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