Mykaela Saunders

My doctoral project is called Goori-futurism: envisioning the sovereignty and survivance of Bundjalung country, community, and culture through speculative fiction.

For this project I’m writing a short story collection, accompanied by an exegesis that maps the research and writing process.

Goori-futurism combines four of my research interests:

• Aboriginal sovereignty and survivance, and fictional representations thereof
• The future of Bundjalung country, community, and culture
• Speculative fiction, particularly Indigenous futurism
• Creative writing in the short story form

These interests converge in my story collection: each story explores different expressions of Aboriginal sovereignty and survivance; the stories are all set in different versions of the future, in the Tweed, with various climate scenarios, population dynamics and political structures; each story leans into different genres of spec-fic; and the stories experiment with form and craft.

This project initiates the discipline of Goori-futurism, delineates its boundaries, and seeks to articulate a philosophy and aesthetics for the genre. I intend to develop Goori-futurism further in ongoing creative and critical work, and it’s my hope that it continues to expand through the contributions of others, particularly other Goories.

I’m undertaking this project for a Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Sydney, in the Department of English’s creative writing program. My supervisor is Dr Peter Minter, and submission date is February 2021.

More Goori-futurism

Thesis abstract. Research profile for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, 2019.

Buried time. Short story, part of the collection’s framing narrative; editorial by Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk. Overland 234, 2019.

Goori-futurism. Conference paper outlining my creative practise, research and writing frameworks, and aims for the project. SFRA Review 330: Fall, 2019.

World Building 101. Podcast discussing Goori-futurism on a panel with Mitchell Hogan and Catherine McKinnon, moderated by Keith Stevenson, at Writing NSW Speculative Fiction Festival, 2019.

© Mykaela Saunders, 2020