Prehistoric Futurism

Dinosaurs, Kids, and the Future in the Jurassic Park Franchise

Thursday, September 8, 2022 @ 6pm CEST; 10am MDT

The Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies are not only fun, action-packed dinosaur adventures; as I have argued elsewhere, they also reflect contemporary anxieties about climate change and species extinction. Here, I explore the role of children—human and otherwise—in the films’ extinction and environmental narratives. How does the presence of children enhance the anxiety we feel about the future of the human species in the Anthropocene? And how do baby dinosaurs complicate our sense of that future and humanity’s place within it? What do the films say about how we create a future through choices about reproduction and care?

Christy Tidwell is an associate professor of English & humanities at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. She works at the intersection of speculative fiction, environmental humanities, and gender studies. In addition to writing about ecohorror and environmental science fiction for many journals and edited collections, she is co-editor of Gender and Environment in Science Fiction (Lexington Books, 2018), Fear and Nature: Ecohorror Studies in the Anthropocene (Penn State University Press, 2021), and a special issue of Science Fiction Film & Television on creature features and the environment (vol. 14, no. 3, 2021).

Photo of Christy Tidwell