Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Alien invasion has been one of the most persistent fantasies in US speculative culture since the emergence of science fiction in the late nineteenth century. A technologically superior, extraterrestrial “race” arrives on Earth and defeats most or all of world’s nations. Sometimes the United States alone is able to defeat the aliens; sometimes the planet is saved only by a miracle. Ranging from American revisions of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds to Ted Chiang’s “Arrival,” this talk asks: why has US popular culture dreamed so often and so vividly of America’s destruction by an alien power? Why, in other words, is US speculative culture always waiting for the Martians? Is alien invasion a symptom of dystopian pessimism, utopian hope, or something else?
Prof. Ph.D. J. Jesse Ramírez, University of St. Gallen
Mario Grill (mario [dot] grill [at] aau [dot] at)