Blog Post

Introducing Us in Flux, a series on community, collaboration, and collective imagination

Us in Flux banner, with the words against a maroon and gold background

"The only lasting truth is change.” -- Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Sower

As the ground shifts under our feet and we ponder the far-reaching effects of this global crisis, Octavia Butler’s words ring true. Uncertainty abounds even in the best of times, and our responses to it determine our fate. Understanding, anticipating, and responding to change is at the heart of science fiction— envisioning ourselves amid the strange and the fantastic attunes us to the unexpected and helps us chart a course to a better future.

With this in mind, the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University is proud to launch Us in Flux, a weekly series of flash fiction stories and virtual events about community, collaboration, and collective imagination in the face of transformative change. But fear not: these aren't tales of the apocalypse. We've invited a group of talented authors, scholars, and creators to give us glimpses of new worlds; of people and systems in transition; and of the different ways we might flourish in times of adversity.

Every Thursday morning, we’ll publish a new, original story and will host an online public conversation with the author and their special guest the following Monday afternoon. The stories are free to read and share, and the events are free and open to everyone.

The first piece in this series is “The Parable of the Tares” by Christopher Rowe – an arresting short story about food, monoculture, and communities that draw together the human and nonhuman.

On Monday, April 13, at 1:00 pm Arizona time (4:00 pm Eastern), Christopher will be joined by Michael Bell, professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for a deeper dive into "The Parable of the Tares."

During this live event, Christopher and Mike will talk about the origins of the story, their shared passion for agroecology and politics, and what this story has to say about our current moment. The discussion will be broadcast live on Zoom and available on-demand shortly after. Register today!

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