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Shelley Streeby

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies & Joint Appointment Department of Ethnic Studies and Department of Literature



Ph.D., English, University of California Berkeley, 1994

B.A., English, Harvard University, 1986


Shelley Streeby received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994, joined the faculty of the Literature Department at the University of California at the University of California, San Diego, and in 2010 began a joint appointment with her main teaching home in Ethnic Studies. Her first book, American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture, received the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero First Book Prize. Her most recent book, Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism (UC Press, 2018) is part of the emerging interdisciplinary field of Speculative Futures Studies. She is a 2021 recipient of an American Council of Learned Society Faculty Fellowship and in 2019 received the Ursula K. Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship at the University of Oregon. Streeby has served as Vice-Chair and Director of Graduate Studies for the Ethnic Studies Department and since 2010, has directed the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop. Streeby has received numerous awards for her teaching, including the Chancellor’s Associates Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. She is also a founding member of the Speculative Futures Collective, a University of California Multi-Campus Research Group of faculty, students, and staff who since 2018 have generated new interdisciplinary research on imagining the future of ecologies, climate change, education, labor, technology, artificial intelligence, and transnational inequalities and connections.


Research and Teaching Interests

 Environmentalisms and Ecologies; Speculative Futures and World-Making; Science Studies; Feminist and Queer Theories; Social Movements and Cultures; Latinx and Hemispheric American Studies; Media Studies and Digital Humanities; Visual Culture


Selected Publications

Keywords for Comics Studies (co-edited with Ramzi Fawaz and Deborah Whaley). New York University Press, 2021.

“Speculative Writing, Art, and World-Making in the Wake of Octavia E. Butler as Feminist Theory.” Feminist Studies Vol. 46, No. 2 (2020), pp. 510-533.

“’No One Will Be Free Until Everyone Is’: Latinx World-Making, Speculation, and Spaces of Change in Lilliam Rivera’s Dealing in Dreams.” ASAP/J, October 2019.

“Radical Reproduction: Octavia E. Butler’s HistoFuturist Archiving as Speculative Theory.” Women's Studies (2018) 47:7, 719-732, DOI: 10.1080/00497878.2018.1518619

“Heroism and Comics Form: Feminist and Queer Speculations.” American Literature, “Queer About Comics” Special Issue (2018) 90 (2): 449-459.

Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism. UC Press, 2018.

“Reading Jaime Hernandez’s Comics as Speculative Fiction.” Reprinted in Altermundos: Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, edited Ben Olguín and Cathyrn Merla-Watson. University of Washington Press. Book received 2018 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

Radical Sensations: World-Movements, Violence, and Visual Culture. Duke University Press, 2013.

Empire and the Literature of Sensation: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction (co-edited with Jesse Alemán). Rutgers University Press, 2007.

American Sensations: Class, Empire and the Production of Popular Culture. UC Press, 2002. Recipient of the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero First Book Prize.




In the News

How science fiction helps readers understand climate change

Parable Pandemics: Octavia E. Butler and Racialized Labor