Finance Meets Sci-fi /
2022 – 2025

Speculative Finance/Speculative Fiction: Fighting for the Future

EU-funded research project

Link to the project page

When speculation becomes the dominant modality of contemporary capitalism, what happens to speculative fiction? What kind of worldbuilding does speculative finance do, and, once we acknowledge its narrative features, how might we use the tools of speculative fiction to intervene in this process? Can speculative fiction help us recognise the ways in which speculative finance takes effect and, from that vantage point, reveal the contradictions of financial speculation and the possibilities that lie hidden within the present?

Through close analyses of novels and films, SF-SF explores the degree to which speculative finance and speculative fiction operate according to similar narrative and imaginative strategies, and how they remain distinct. Its purpose is twofold: firstly, it explores how the logic of financialisation relies on fictions whose representations materialise the worlds it envisions. Secondly, it explores a better understanding of how speculative fiction can make legible finance’s fictions and reveal its underlying contradictions. By employing critical literary analysis and symptomatology as methods, SF-SF will thus result in a better understanding of how speculative finance seeks to narrow and constrain the possibilities for the future, and how speculative fiction challenges speculative finance’s ongoing attempt to configure all aspects of political and social life in economic terms.