Nothing wasted: engaging values and the imagination. How can working with feminist speculative fictions enthuse and engage students with social justice and sustainability in an age of austerity?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the context of contemporary higher education, postwhite paper, ‘Students at the heart of the system' [BIS, 2011. Students at the heart of the system[online].Available from: https:// higher-education-students-at-heart-of-system.pdf, (Accessed 5 Feb 2014), in which funding and commodification of learning and of students dominate university mission statements and agendas, it is crucial that we collaborate with our students to engage imagination and critical faculties with issues of value, and of social justice. Teaching and researching contemporary feminist speculative fictions and feminist critical practice offer a priceless opportunity tomake a difference, to challenge the intellectual impoverishment that this new austerity brings with it. Learning and teaching research into threshold concepts and signature pedagogies combine here with feminist critical practice in a discussion of teaching two speculative fictions which engage criticality and values: Atwood [Atwood, 2003. Oryx and Crake. New York: Nan A. Talese.) and Hopkinson [Hopkinson, 1996.Ahabit ofwaste. Skin folk.NewYork:Aspect, 183-202] each ofwhich critiques flawed societies using tropes of waste, and rejection of difference. Each suggests recovery from damage done in the name of austerity, and imagines futures for the critical imagination, social justice, self-worth and agency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-316
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2014


  • austerity
  • waste
  • feminist critical thinking
  • values
  • imagination
  • social justice
  • sustainability

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