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Recognizing Cognition: On Suvin, Miéville, and the Utopian Impulse in the Contemporary Fantastic

Rhys Williams
Science Fiction Studies
Vol. 41, No. 3 (November 2014), pp. 617-633
Published by: SF-TH Inc
DOI: 10.5621/sciefictstud.41.3.0617
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5621/sciefictstud.41.3.0617
Page Count: 17
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Recognizing Cognition: On Suvin, Miéville, and the Utopian Impulse in the Contemporary Fantastic
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Abstract

This article is an intervention into the recent Suvin-Miéville debate about cognition and the political value of fantastic literature. It recuperates the much maligned and misunderstood Suvinian notion of “cognition” and argues for its continuing relevance in an updated form, stripped of the vestiges of its time. This article rethinks cognition in light of the recent “post-genre fantastic” and contemporary political movements and links contemporary theory to practice, arguing that the utopian impulse can currently be found in the dissolution of the conceptual frames through which we imagine rationality, utopia, and the future.

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