A conversation between philosopher of digital cultures Anna Greenspan and historian of China Jeffrey Wasserstrom, speculative-fiction writer Anil Menon, and historian of science Kavita Philip, exploring the emerging work from scholars who have grown up with the global influence of science fiction in popular culture while being trained in the disciplinary spaces between science, engineering, social science, law and the humanities. The following questions are addressed: what are the prehistories of science fiction and the futures of such interdisciplinary work? How do India and China, as places where important new science fiction is being written, and as nations exploding now into emerging markets characterized by technological dynamism, fit into older historiographic frames that saw the European Enlightenment as the source of modern science, and the ‘developing world’ as destined only to ever play catch-up? How should the politics of digital futures and non-European pasts figure in historical research and in fiction writing, keeping in mind the historian's fear of presentism and anachronism, and the fiction writer's dislike of political moralism?
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