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Prefigurations of contemporary capitalism in science fiction

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The class would explore how a selection of science fiction works (TBD) imagined economic systems that prefigured contemporary cognitive capitalism and neoliberalism. Rather than pick a series of texts or films to discuss/watch together, I propose class participants select a "case study" and present the political economy of the world(s) found in the piece, as well as the historical/cultural context it emerged within. (Perhaps with lots of charts and diagrams.)

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Nancy Kress, too, would make an awesome read - her books are about hyper-productivity, genetic engineering and high-income neoliberist segregated communities in space (something PayPal founder Peter Thiel is actually interested in developing...)

Lots of JG Ballard short stories could fit here - thinking particularly of "Chronopolis" and "The Concentration City". Might be interesting to do a by-decade comparison of works across authors.


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