I will be on a panel at 1.45pm in Indigo A with the following description:
There has been a growing body of work in world politics that relies on or analyzes fictional narratives. To what extent can cultutal phenomena like Battlestar Galactica or Harry Potter be used as for pedagogical purposes in the classroom? How useful are such narratives as data points to either explicate or substantiate theoretical claims in world politics? This roundtable weighs the costs and benefits of using popular culture narratives inside the classroom and in publications.
Charli Carpenter will be discussing her work on the intersection (PDF) between Battlestar Galactica and real-world politics. I assume that Patrick James will tell us about his forthcoming book on teaching international relations through The Lord of the Rings. I expect that you all can guess what Dan Drezner’s role on the panel will be. I’m not at all sure what Jonathan Cristol will present — perhaps something on Philip K. Dick?
Here’s my question: what should I talk about? I don’t have any interest in revisiting the substance of Harry Potter and International Relations, which leaves four options:
- Methods and Methodology. In essence, I could discuss my thinking — six-years on — about the framework Iver Neumann and I developed for HP&IR. If Steve Saideman will allow me to present last, this might be a nice way to close out the disparate panel presentations.
- The Hunger Games. My guess is that I would talk about the series from the perspective of the four approaches to popular culture and politics referenced in the first option.
- Interstellar Relations: The Politics of Speculative Fiction. The substance and pedagogy of the class I teach, with ample kudos to PTJ’s influence.
- Strange IR: International-Relations Theory as Speculative Fiction. A discussion of a paper idea that PM came up with after we finished a brief comment on whether the nineteenth century was the most important (.doc) “turning point” in international politics. In brief, why a number of over-the-horizon developments — the “great convergence,” climate change, the end of the “Age of Efflorescence” — might alter the constitutive rules of international politics and how coming to grips with that requires practical science fiction.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated.