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Speculative Fiction

What is "speculative fiction"? In the past there has been a divide between "literary" and "genre" fiction, but for the last several years, those distinctions have been growing more and more slippery. The phenomenal success of works by authors like Carmen Maria Machado, and Jesmyn Ward, and the lesser-known but just as exciting works of authors like Indra Das and Michael Thomas Ford have been blurring these lines even more, taking the social relevance and the rules of both categories and blending them into something that's often thought of as "speculative" work. At the base of "speculative fiction" is the question "What If?" We must apply it to terms of category, rules, and our own desires for a different and more intriguing world with out own set of rules based on and beholden to neither. We will learn to push the edges of boxes of genre, rules, and our own imagination to create something more like a potluck of all our influences rather than a 5-course meal made by one chef. 

Instructor: Alex DiFrancesco is a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism who has published work in Tin House, The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Brevity and more. Their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their novel All City (Seven Stories Press), were published in 2019. They are the recipient of grants and fellowships from PEN America and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Their storytelling has been featured at The Fringe Festival, Life of the Law, The Queens Book Festival, and The Heart podcast.  They can be found @DiFantastico on Twitter.


Online class info: This class will meet online on Thursdays from 6:30-8:30pm using Zoom video conferencing. On the first day of class, we will give you a tutorial on how to use Zoom. Once you sign on using the instructions we will provide, you will be able to see and talk with your instructor and your fellow participants—just like you would in one of our meeting rooms. All you need is a good internet connection and a computer or smartphone with a camera and microphone. Not sure if your system is compatible? Just click here. Have any questions about online classes? Email or call associate director Matt Weinkam at

Details: Speculative Fiction with Alex DiFrancesco takes place Thursdays June 4, 11, 18, & 25 from 6:30-8:30pm remotely through Zoom. 

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