Final Project Plan Draft

Draft of Final Project Plan


-a rationale for your chosen topic (including reflection on how the taught elements of your programme have helped you develop it)

Literature Review:

-Brief overview


-an overview of the methods you plan to use in developing and writing up the project (including reflection on how any methods training you have taken has helped inform these)

-how gather info, lit review

-Methodology – what are u gonna look at?


End of May- Completed Research, Collected quotes, working on literature review and intro

June 15th- Chapter 1 / first section written

End of June- Chapter 2 / second section written

July 15th- Chapter 3 / third section written

End of July- Conclusion, writing completed

1st – 10th of August – Edit

Potential Ethical Challenges:

  • my perspective, bias & bias in academic lit used – acknowledge and outline my perspective and examine research in lit review

Mode of Representation:

a statement of the intended mode of representation you will use in the final project report


an appendix listing the dates of significant blog posts building to the project plan with direct links, or inline citations and a references – this will be used to make a judgement on whether you have actively engaged with the blog and made meaningful, consistent posts (in other words to assess whether you pass or fail the course; it is not included in the final word count and should include around 10 posts, although it is the quality of the posts and your integration of them into the plan which is most important)

Project Update and Overview

An update on where I am with my project & an informal annotated bibliography


-A few weeks ago I had a meeting with Simon Western, CEO/Founder of The Eco-Leadership Institute, and we had a discussion about my project. He has a podcast, Edgy Ideas, on which he invites various guests to talk about their expertise and ideas about the world. Some relevant episodes I have listened to so far are: Purpose Upgrade with Paul Skinner, Becoming Digital Savvy with Anni Rowland-Campbell, and Lurking Monsters with Nora Bateson. These were very interesting and although his work centers more on coaching and psychoanalytic perspectives, some ideas discussed could come into play in my project. He is interested in a plethora of theory including Latour and Haraway, who I had planned on including or centering my project around. We therefore discussed these ideas briefly and he gave some suggestions for further reading. He suggested: Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern

He also suggested to look at John Law and actor network theory

as well as this paper “a classic the pasteurisation of France- a must read!”:

and an unpublished paper of his own which is extremely relevant and discusses Haraway and technology.


Cyborgs and Intersectionality in Sci-fi and Speculative Fiction – Narratives of bodies, machines, and nature

– connection / disconnection / re-connection

My research will be an essay looking at contemporary speculative literature and theory surrounding speculative fiction, speculative futures, and technology and the body. It will largely use qualitative analysis and also contain some small sections of my own creative writing. The data will be literature and academic texts. I will undertake a literature review to outline my main texts and their perspectives and potential biases. The aim will be to explore and outline how we can make the world better and counter oppressive systems by envisioning hopeful futures through speculative fiction that contains intersectionality and the blurring of boundaries between nature (the body) and technology. The main research question will be something akin to, how do intersectional cyborgs in speculative fiction create hopeful futures?

It will expand on the ideas in Donna Haraway’s ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’ and accompanying texts, including the academic literature which responded and followed as well as fiction focused on those topics.

A preliminary overview of and reflection on the academic literature that I will be drawing on for my project – Informal Annotated Bibliography
-HARAWAY, DONNA J., and CARY WOLFE. Manifestly Haraway. University of Minnesota Press, 2016. JSTOR, Accessed 2 April 2024.

I will particularly focus on the chapter ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’ which was originally published in 1985, and its ideas. In ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’ Haraway outlines how the idea (and potentially the reality) of the cyborg – a synthesis of human and technology – has the potential to be a tool of feminist emancipation.

-Cutanda, Grian A. The Earth Stories Collection: How To Make Another World Possible with Myths, Legends and Traditional Stories. The Earth Stories Collection, 2019.
Collects and sometimes alters traditional stories from various cultures around the world and adds to them. Discusses counter stories or counter narratives and their importance as well as the importance of oral storytelling traditions.
-DUNNE, ANTHONY, and FIONA RABY. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. The MIT Press, 2013. JSTOR, Accessed 2 April 2024.
-Latour, Bruno. On the Emergence of an Ecological Class : A Memo : Subject – How to Promote the Emergence of an Ecological Class That’s Self-Aware and Proud / Bruno Latour and Nikolaj Schultz ; Translated by Julie Rose. Edited by Nikolaj Schultz and Julie Rose, Polity Press, 2022,
-Womack, Ytasha L. Afrofuturism the World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture. Lawrence Hill Books, 2013,
-VanderMeer, Ann, and Jeff VanderMeer. The Big Book of Science Fiction: The Ultimate Collection. Vintage Books, 2016.

Economic Narratives

Economic Narratives Reflection

I was interested in economic narrative because I wanted to look at the way the two elements interact in different ways, particularly how economics and economic systems are depicted and effect a fictional narrative (Jane Austen’s works are a great example of this!) and how people (e.g. politicians) tell or spin certain narratives in real life.

In the course, both in the reading an in the intensive we explored the blending of literature and economics, looking at many different forms of this combination. The reading was largely focused on various economic crises and all of the elements which these entail. I was worried at first as some of it was quite complex economics and numbers which was hard to understand, however the intensive was great and as it was largely in a seminar format anything we were confused about was explained well and we got to have complex, in depth discussions about the material and other related things, exploring the historical, economic, and literature perspectives/ different blends of economic narratives.

We also did group work where we explored one topic and how economic narratives were conveyed. Our group looked at greenwashing and how companies often lie in advertising.

Some notes:

-many different ways to tell a narrative – e.g. visual economic narrative e.g. fashion

-economic systems, companies, corruption, financial crashes

-echo from World as Story – brought up again what makes certain narratives contagious/ sticky – very interesting, important

-really good course!

-Made me think of economic systems in fiction – specifically Snow Crash and, much more subtly, What you are looking for is in the library, which I read most recently, amongst other examples such as depictions of economic systems in dystopias (e.g. 1984).

For my essay I wrote about how Jane Austen depicts the economics of the time in her texts, especially in relation to character, how this interacts with other themes such as class and gender, and how important it is to her texts.

Potentially Relevant Texts:

-Imagined futures : fictional expectations and capitalist dynamics / Jens Beckert.
Economic Science Fictions by William Davies.
Speculative time : American literature in an age of crisis / Paul Crosthwaite.

Story Roots for Sustainable Futures

Story Roots for Sustainable Futures Reflection

This course was the most unconventional one I have done and one I have enjoyed most. I really loved sharing my story and hearing other people’s. By learning about and practicing oral storytelling and its different elements, I built a new skill through this course, one that is so important yet often underappreciated. We also learned about valuable stories from people in the group’s lives and different cultures.

I used my story from the World of Story twine project about a man who turns into a tree and used different physicality, memory, etc and thought in depth about how to tell it. It was really valuable to go on the journey of building on and learning your narrative and through building the skill of oral storytelling, we had to incorporate physicality and trust, building confidence and community.

In this course, we learned about traditional narratives, oral storytelling, and how  indigenous traditions maintained oral storytelling in their culture. We also explored fairy tales.


-potentially most relevant theory to my futures project

-climate change, sustainable development goals, the Earth Charter

-different levels of narratives – meta narratives and creating alternative narratives/ counter-narratives

-narrative therapy

The Earth Stories Collection: How to Make Another World Possible with Myths, Legends and Traditional Stories by Grian A. Cutanda

-Toolkit: Creating & Roleplaying Alternative Stories

Sources used for toolkit:

Bamberg, Michael, and Molly Andrews. Considering Counter Narratives: Narrating, Resisting, Making Sense. John Benjamin Publishing Company, 2004,, Accessed 20 Mar. 2024.

Bruner, Jerome Seymour. The Culture of Education. Harvard University Press, 1996,, Accessed 21 Mar. 2024.

Cutanda, Grian A. The Earth Stories Collection: How To Make Another World Possible with Myths, Legends and Traditional Stories. The Earth Stories Collection, 2019.

Cutanda, Grian A. The Earth Stories Collection: The Myths of the Future. Vol. 1, The Avalon Project, 2020.

Frank, Arthur W. “Why study people’s stories? the dialogical ethics of narrative analysis.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods, vol. 1, no. 1, Mar. 2002, pp. 109–117,

Harcourt, Rachel, et al. “Envisioning climate change adaptation futures using storytelling workshops.” Sustainability, vol. 13, no. 12, 10 June 2021, p. 6630,

Heinemeyer, Catherine. Storytelling in Participatory Arts with Young People. Springer International Publishing, 2020,, Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

Kulnieks, Andrejs, and Robin Kimmerer. “The Fortress, The River and the Garden.” Contemporary Studies in Environmental and Indigenous Pedagogies a Curricula of Stories and Place, SensePublishers, 2013.

Lindemann, Hilde. “Counterstories.” Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair, Cornell University Press, 2001, pp. 150–188, Accessed 15 Mar. 2024.

Lundholt, Marianne Wolff, and Klarissa Lueg. Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives. 1st ed., Routledge, 2020,, Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

Nanson, Anthony. Storytelling and Ecology Empathy, Enchantment and Emergence in the Use of Oral Narratives. Bloomsbury Academic, 2021,, Accessed 21 Mar. 2024.

“Neverafter.” Dimension 20 Wiki, Fandom, Inc., Accessed 20 Mar. 2024.

“Read the Earth Charter.” Earth Charter, 8 Oct. 2021,

Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO, Accessed 20 Mar. 2024.

“The 17 Goals | Sustainable Development.” United Nations, United Nations, Accessed 21 Mar. 2024.

Willis, Alette, et al. Alette Willis et al., ‘Shifting the Narrative Report for the BA,’

Willis, Alette. “Story Roots for Sustainable Futures.” Lecture (PowerPoint). 2024.

Zipes, Jack. Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children’s Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling. 1st ed., Taylor and Francis, 2008,, Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

Artificial Intelligence and Storytelling

Artificial Intelligence and Storytelling Reflection

-In the reading for Artificial Intelligence and Storytelling I learned a lot about creative writing. Although it is just the basics, and largely centered around scripts/ screenplay writing, it was very valuable and good to remind myself of these aspects of storytelling. Into the woods a five-act journey into story by John Yorke was a great read and very good at outlining what elements stories need. This, in turn, informed some of the final edits to the play I wrote ‘It’s All In Your Head’ as I wanted to make sure it was as compelling as I could make it. This course helped my play slightly, both in terms of creative writing story elements and also additions and contemplation about AI ethics (as in the intensive there was a short discussion about the ethics of AI — including its capacity to write/be creative, copyright, jobs, and the issue of training it and who really does that work — which built upon what we explored in Ethical Data Futures).

This programme was not exactly what I expected, especially during the intensive, as we spent a lot of time learning about Language Learning Models and how they work. Although this was valuable knowledge, it wasn’t directly relevant or useful to the assignment and the other work in the programme.

In this programme, I learned that AI is not easy to direct and not good at writing fiction (at least not in the format we used it/ the model we used). I did learn how to give it better prompts, and built slightly on my coding knowledge, as well as play with images in AI along with text.

The best part of the intensives, and of the programme, were when we created our own stories and characters (with the help of the AI), then melded them together in groups to make a bigger story, and then attempted to combine all of these into a class story. We then presented our group’s story to the class with visual aids. This allowed us more creative freedom and challenged us to blend and fit our stories together.

I did however build on my presentation and writing skills in this module, although also learned how difficult AI is to work with to write literature or even to generate ideas, especially when there are a lot of restrictions.

This knowledge and the skills I built on this programme will most likely inform my futures project, especially in the creative writing aspect.

Building Near Futures

Building Near Futures - reflection so far

Building Near Futures has been very fruitful so far. We are in groups for a big project and my group is a very good mix of people from different disciplines who are all great workers with lots of ideas and are keen to work on our project. We are looking at sustainable cities and green architecture and design and are potentially looking at creating a future design of EFI centered around green technology, community, and a sustainable approach. This has been very interesting and rewarding so far and we have already learned a lot, looking at various case studies of sustainable and green cities (and smart cities) as well as green design, architecture, and elements (like urban farming) which we might want to include.

The course has largely been centered around this project and I am glad we are doing something so meaningful, that I find so interesting, and that we work together so well. It is also great to bring in some narrative and literature knowledge for some aspects and even some knowledge from my A-level Geography. My passion for art has also come in use, especially as we are looking at architecture and design elements and even have a meeting with the architecture firm for EFI. It has already been extremely eye opening and a real learning process to find out more about EFI, the building, and the limitations that we may face in our design.

The theory has been interesting and certainly relates to creating narratives futures as a whole and may be useful to integrate into the theory of my futures project, specifically the theory on futures projection, the futures cone, and more. Texts such as Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby would certainly come into play – especially as it talks about the envisioning of real futures and how fiction comes into play with technology and design – and possibly other texts on the course like Technology and Sustainable Development : The Promise and Pitfalls of Techno-Solutionism by Henrik Skaug Sætra or even Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities which was suggested by a lecturer. Theory such as discussion about wicked problems and how to approach them may be very relevant to use.

Furthermore, there are many ways that this form of envisioning and designing the future may blend with art and literature as although it focuses on the near future and the real and tangible, this is an important aspect to add to the imaginative speculative fictions of authors such as Ursula e Guin and the artist Solomon Enos. There is also a lot of overlap topic wise, which is no surprise, looking at green and sustainable solutions to climate change and its intertwining issues.

Most of all, I have learnt about how important it is to think in the near future or the short term, as well as the long term, in order to blend speculative fiction into reality, and so that people can’t deem solutions too far away/ into the future and offload responsibility.

Update – Play!

It's All In Your Head  - A Play

Over the Christmas break and throughout semester 2 I worked on a play which I wrote and directed (amongst other organisational things).

In collaboration with the society Theatre Paradok, a few friends and I put on an immersive sound play about AI and mental health called ‘It’s All In Your Head’. We put it on at Whitespace for four performances over three nights.

Here’s a blurb: On a usual dreary morning, Nina suddenly finds herself in a struggle against a mysterious entity. She must find the strength to take control. It’s All In Your Head is a play about the mind, self-discovery, and our relationship with technology. It’s all in your head… or is it?


The play is a kind of mystery and sort of a dark comedy and depicts the struggle between a woman, Nina, and an AI which infiltrates its way into her inner monologue one morning. It was based on / built from an assignment that I did for Text Remix. I wanted the play to be immersive in some way and was inspired by Complicité’s production The Encounter in which they use headphones and a  binaural microphone. Paradok are all about experimental theatre and so were keen on this idea. I felt it also suited the narrative as the audience is then immersed in Nina’s inner monologue and starts to hear the AI in their heads as well. We found a sound designer to help us bring this vision to life. We asked the audience to bring along headphones and used the sonobus app in order to stream the sound to them, though it was WiFi reliant so took a lot of trial and error. However, it does seem like it was successful overall!

Putting this play on helped me build many skills such as learning how to produce and organise a production (a very big task) as well as building my writing and editing skills (in this case navigating a script) and learning how to direct. The difference in tone of voice and physicality between the AI and Nina was the most important thing to show and took a lot of tact, especially in the moments when the divide is not so stark (for example when the AI is still hiding). I also arranged props and created a lighting script. We also did a lot of social media and publicity work, here’s the show’s Instagram:

The experience was very time consuming and stressful but extremely rewarding to see my hard work pay off and come to life. It was so amazing to have people attend and enjoy the show!

I think that the experience i gained and lessons learned though this process will inevitably influence my futures project.

I would love to put the play on again someday in an even more polished form. We filmed the show so I hope to edit together a version of it at some point so that more people can experience it in the meantime.

Ethical Data Futures

Ethical Data Futures

So far, Ethical Data Futures has been very developmental and I have learned a lot, particularly from studying the case studies and going in depth on certain topics. I think that there are definitely readings which could inform my final project such as the books Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins and Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto by Legacy Russell.

It has been extremely interesting to look further into issues such as algorithms, AI, and many other technologies and systems from an ethical perspective, especially as I have been interested in this area of study before and touched upon it in my undergraduate degree and dissertation. I think this perspective, interrogation, and area of study is crucial in EFI and is often looked at either briefly or through a wider, less specific lens in other programmes. Here, cases, examples, and issues are looked at and explored in depth and debated about. The theory is complex and interesting to look at critically and this is encouraged. I felt challenged but in a good way and although at times was confused I definitely learned a lot about certain theories, theorists and their positions, where certain issues stem from, and what needs to be done in organisations to make things better/more ethical.

This course will definitely relate to the reasoning behind my project – the need for certain stories and narratives to be told, and therefore also links to the real world connections and examples that link to sci-fi stories (e.g. racial bias in AI and algorithms, amongst a plethora of other issues). I think some of the cases and texts explored in this course could most certainly be linked to the theory of my project — based on Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto — and could most certainly be useful.

I was also really interested in the ethics of the intersection of mental health and technology – specifically algorithms, bots, and AI — and explored in the course, the case study of Crisis Text Line. This topic was extremely interesting, especially as someone who struggles with mental health and has had therapy, and the online discussions with classmates (although sometimes less fruitful) was very in-depth and fascinating for this case. The topic reminded me of many things, including and the visual novel game Eliza which explores the ethics of technology and mental health in an extremely complex and insightful way.


First Supervisor Meeting

An overview of my first meeting with my project supervisor

I met with my supervisor, Simon Malpas, for the first time and had a really great and very helpful meeting where we discussed where I am at with my project and thought about what my next steps are.

I am glad to have him as my supervisor as his specialty is in literature and has a valuable knowledge of contemporary science fiction. Although he has had a couple of different research interests, including the literature, culture and politics of the Restoration period, he is largely currently focusing on the relationship between science, literature and society from the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century to the present and science fiction.

We had a long discussion about my plans and influences as well as suggestions of texts which I could look into. We also looked briefly at my past blog posts and tried to clarify my project focus. He also suggested I look into the podcast ‘Our Opinions are Correct’ by the novelists (and science writers) Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders

As I expected the main feedback so far is to narrow down my scope and have a really solid idea of what exactly it is that my project is and is doing.

My task until the next meeting is to really solidify a few core texts which will influence my project.


World as Story

Reflection on the World as Story course and its relevance to the development of my project idea

World as Story was very interesting as a first course, especially in terms of the reading. It focuses on how stories and narratives are used and applied in the ‘real-world’ taking a very interdisciplinary approach, looking at story in economics, politics, history, education, environmental studies, and more.

We started out group projects and my group decided that looking at how narrative is used in social media would be very interesting. We decided to focus on how war is presented in certain TikToks and the trend of ‘girlification’ and how it is used.

My favourite part of this course was the discussions we had, particularly in relation to our trip to Dynamic Earth. This was an extremely interesting and layered trip where we both appreciated and enjoyed our trip and the exhibit and also kept a keen eye for critique in how they educate and craft their narrative. Discussing the issues with the staff members who worked there was extremely insightful and then returning to have a class discussion about the curation and the details, limitations, and issues of it was very valuable to me.

This course handled interdisciplinary thinking very well, especially in the readings it offered, and I think it is this element which can help me in my project. This can help guide me in terms of handling the interdisciplinary elements of my project, acting as an example of keeping focus when implementing cross/ multiple disciplines, so that my scope does not get too large.

Texts influential to my Futures Project:

-Latour, Bruno. After Lockdown : A Metamorphosis / Bruno Latour ; Translated by Julie Rose. Edited by Julie Rose, English edition., Polity, 2021,

-Latour, Bruno. On the Emergence of an Ecological Class : A Memo : Subject – How to Promote the Emergence of an Ecological Class That’s Self-Aware and Proud / Bruno Latour and Nikolaj Schultz ; Translated by Julie Rose. Edited by Nikolaj Schultz and Julie Rose, Polity Press, 2022,

-Latour, Bruno. Down to Earth Politics in the New Climatic Regime / Bruno Latour. Edited by provider. ProQuest (Firm), English edition., Polity Press, 2018.

-Berardi, Franco. Futurability the Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility / Franco “Bifo” Berardi. Verso, 2017.