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The Subject Of Race In American Science Fiction

Author: Sharon DeGraw
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135864594
Size: 15.25 MB
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While the connections between science fiction and race have largely been neglected by scholars, racial identity is a key element of the subjectivity constructed in American SF. In his Mars series, Edgar Rice Burroughs primarily supported essentialist constructions of racial identity, but also included a few elements of racial egalitarianism. Writing in the 1930s, George S. Schuyler revised Burroughs' normative SF triangle of white author, white audience, and white protagonist and promoted an individualistic, highly variable concept of race instead. While both Burroughs and Schuyler wrote SF focusing on racial identity, the largely separate genres of science fiction and African American literature prevented the similarities between the two authors from being adequately acknowledged and explored. Beginning in the 1960s, Samuel R. Delany more fully joined SF and African American literature. Delany expands on Schuyler's racial constructionist approach to identity, including gender and sexuality in addition to race. Critically intertwining the genres of SF and African American literature allows a critique of the racism in the science fiction and a more accurate and positive portrayal of the scientific connections in the African American literature. Connecting the popular fiction of Burroughs, the controversial career of Schuyler, and the postmodern texts of Delany illuminates a gradual change from a stable, essentialist construction of racial identity at the turn of the century to the variable, social construction of poststructuralist subjectivity today.

Bodyminds Reimagined

Author: Sami Schalk
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822371839
Size: 49.54 MB
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In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women's speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and the physical—in the context of race, gender, and (dis)ability. Bridging black feminist theory with disability studies, Schalk demonstrates that this genre's political potential lies in the authors' creation of bodyminds that transcend reality's limitations. She reads (dis)ability in neo-slave narratives by Octavia Butler (Kindred) and Phyllis Alesia Perry (Stigmata) not only as representing the literal injuries suffered under slavery, but also as a metaphor for the legacy of racial violence. The fantasy worlds in works by N. K. Jemisin, Shawntelle Madison, and Nalo Hopkinson—where werewolves have obsessive-compulsive-disorder and blind demons can see magic—destabilize social categories and definitions of the human, calling into question the very nature of identity. In these texts, as well as in Butler’s Parable series, able-mindedness and able-bodiedness are socially constructed and upheld through racial and gendered norms. Outlining (dis)ability's centrality to speculative fiction, Schalk shows how these works open new social possibilities while changing conceptualizations of identity and oppression through nonrealist contexts.

Blast Corrupt Dismantle Erase

Author: Brett Josef Grubisic
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
ISBN: 1771120568
Size: 26.61 MB
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What do literary dystopias reflect about the times? In Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase, contributors address this amorphous but pervasive genre, using diverse critical methodologies to examine how North America is conveyed or portrayed in a perceived age of crisis, accelerated uncertainty, and political volatility. Drawing from contemporary novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and the work of Margaret Atwood and William Gibson (to name a few), this book examines dystopian literature produced by North American authors between the signing of NAFTA (1994) and the tenth anniversary of 9/11 (2011). As the texts illustrate, awareness of and deep concern about perceived vulnerabilities—ends of water, oil, food, capitalism, empires, stable climates, ways of life, non-human species, and entire human civilizations—have become central to public discourseover the same period. By asking questions such as “What are the distinctive qualities of post-NAFTA North American dystopian literature?” and “What does this literature reflect about the tensions and contradictions of the inchoate continental community of North America?” Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase serves to resituate dystopian writing within a particular geo-social setting and introduce a productive means to understand both North American dystopian writing and its relevant engagements with a restricted, mapped reality.

Judith Merril

Author: Dianne Newell
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786489855
Size: 32.47 MB
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Remembered as one of science fiction’s best editors, Judith Merril (1923–1997) also wrote prolifically and stands as one of the genre’s central figures in the United States and Canada. This work offers a much-needed literary biography and critical commentary on Merril’s groundbreaking science fiction, anthologies, reviews, memoir and other endeavors. A thorough account of Merril’s 50-year career, it is a valuable source for students of science fiction, women’s life writing, women’s contributions to frontier mythology and women’s activism.

Science Fiction

Author: Adam Roberts
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134211791
Size: 58.51 MB
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Science Fiction is a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most popular areas of modern culture. This second edition reflects how the field is rapidly changing in both its practice and its critical reception. With an entirely new conclusion and all other chapters fully reworked and updated, this volume includes: a concise history of science fiction and the ways in which the genre has been used and defined explanations of key concepts in Science Fiction criticism and theory through chapters such as Gender, Race, Technology and Metaphor examines the interactions between Science Fiction and Science Fact anchors each chapter with a case study drawn from short story, book or film, from Frank Herbert’s Dune to Star Wars, from The Left Hand of Darkness to Neuromancer. Introducing the reader to nineteenth-century, Pulp, Golden Age, New Wave, Feminist and Cyberpunk science fictions, this is the essential contemporary guide to a major cultural movement.

Astrofuturism

Author: De Witt Douglas Kilgore
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812200667
Size: 32.90 MB
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Astrofuturism: Science, Race, and Visions of Utopia in Space is the first full-scale analysis of an aesthetic, scientific, and political movement that sought the amelioration of racial difference and social antagonisms through the conquest of space. Drawing on the popular science writing and science fiction of an eclectic group of scientists, engineers, and popular writers, De Witt Douglas Kilgore investigates how the American tradition of technological utopianism responded to the political upheavals of the twentieth century. Founded in the imperial politics and utopian schemes of the nineteenth century, astrofuturism envisions outer space as an endless frontier that offers solutions to the economic and political problems that dominate the modern world. Its advocates use the conventions of technological and scientific conquest to consolidate or challenge the racial and gender hierarchies codified in narratives of exploration. Because the icon of space carries both the imperatives of an imperial past and the democratic hopes of its erstwhile subjects, its study exposes the ideals and contradictions endemic to American culture. Kilgore argues that in the decades following the Second World War the subject of race became the most potent signifier of political crisis for the predominantly white and male ranks of astrofuturism. In response to criticism inspired by the civil rights movement and the new left, astrofuturists imagined space frontiers that could extend the reach of the human species and heal its historical wounds. Their work both replicated dominant social presuppositions and supplied the resources necessary for the critical utopian projects that emerged from the antiracist, socialist, and feminist movements of the twentieth century. This survey of diverse bodies of literature conveys the dramatic and creative syntheses that astrofuturism envisions between people and machines, social imperatives and political hope, physical knowledge and technological power. Bringing American studies, utopian literature, popular conceptions of race and gender, and the cultural study of science and technology into dialogue, Astrofuturism will provide scholars of American culture, fans of science fiction, and readers of science writing with fresh perspectives on both canonical and cutting-edge astrofuturist visions.

Aesthetic Hysteria

Author: Ankhi Mukherjee
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135860521
Size: 43.32 MB
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Aesthetic Hysteria is a deconstructive psychoanalytic study of hysteria, using literary texts to foreground a telling encounter between two growing discourses within English studies: that of emotion/affect and trauma studies. It brings together several academic foci - the history of medicine, aesthetic theory, speech act theory, feminism, and gender and performance studies. The study uses its theoretical and philosophical questioning of a cultural phenomenon to interrogate the politics and ends of theory, and is timely in addressing similar anxieties dominating contemporary critical and cultural theory.

A Sense Of Wonder

Author: Jeffrey A. Tucker
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 9780819566898
Size: 39.44 MB
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In-depth study places a major American writer in the African-American tradition.

The Routledge Companion To Science Fiction

Author: Mark Bould
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135228353
Size: 12.54 MB
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The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction is a comprehensive overview of the history and study of science fiction. It outlines major writers, movements, and texts in the genre, established critical approaches and areas for future study. Fifty-six entries by a team of renowned international contributors are divided into four parts which look, in turn, at: history – an integrated chronological narrative of the genre’s development theory – detailed accounts of major theoretical approaches including feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, postcolonialism, posthumanism and utopian studies issues and challenges – anticipates future directions for study in areas as diverse as science studies, music, design, environmentalism, ethics and alterity subgenres – a prismatic view of the genre, tracing themes and developments within specific subgenres. Bringing into dialogue the many perspectives on the genre The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and the future of science fiction and the way it is taught and studied.