Science fiction from culture’s besides one’s own is not a topic commonly considered by westerners, and especially not science fiction from the Muslim world. But since his undergraduate years, Sinai and Synapses Fellow Dr. Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, though his Islam and Science Fiction initiative, has been amassing a treasure trove of speculative fiction from all over the Islamicate world, some of it centuries old and anticipating concepts such as automatons, artificial life, extraterrestrials and space travel, and how such things could create a different and better (or worse) society. He is particularly interested in utopias or dystopias, which vividly reflect present-day society’s imagination of itself and what could be different, or better. 

Dr. Aurangzeb recently held a webinar with the American Pakistani Foundation on this topic, hosted by APF President Shamila Chaudhary. A transcript of the talk follows.

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