Science fiction and the medical humanities

Miller, G., and McFarlane, A. (2016) Science fiction and the medical humanities. Medical Humanities, 42(4), pp. 213-218. (doi:10.1136/medhum-2016-011144)

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Abstract

Research on science fiction within the medical humanities should articulate interpretative frameworks that do justice to medical themes within the genre. This means challenging modes of reading that encourage unduly narrow accounts of science fiction. Admittedly, science studies has moved away from reading science fiction as a variety of scientific popularisation and instead understands science fiction as an intervention in the technoscientific imaginary that calls for investment in particular scientific enterprises, including various biomedical technologies. However, this mode of reading neglects science fiction's critical relationship to the construction of ‘the future’ in the present: the ways in which science fiction proposes concrete alternatives to hegemonic narratives of medical progress and fosters critical self-awareness of the contingent activity which gives ‘the future’ substance in the here-and-now. Moreover, the future orientation of science fiction should not distract from the function of medical science fiction as ‘cognitive estrangement’: the technological innovations that dominate science-fiction narratives are less concrete predictions and more generic devices that explain in historical time the origins of a marvellous world bearing provocative correspondences to our own, everyday reality. The editorial concludes with a series of introductions to the articles comprising the special issue, covering the print edition and a special online-only section.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Miller, Dr Gavin and Mcfarlane, Dr Anna
Authors: Miller, G., and McFarlane, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Medical Humanities
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:1468-215X
ISSN (Online):1473-4265
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Medical Humanities 42(4): 213-218
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
691031Science Fiction and the Medical HumanitiesGavin MillerWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)107798/Z/15/ZCRIT - ENGLISH LITERATURE