Far Eastern Worlds: Racial Representations of Asia in Science Fiction

full name / name of organization: 
Isiah Lavender, III / Louisiana State University
contact email: 
isiahl@lsu.edu

Continuing where Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction left off (forthcoming from UP of Mississippi), Far Eastern Worlds: Racial Representations of Asia in Science Fiction will feature essays on Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and other Southeast Asian depictions in science fiction. The collection will concentrate on political representations of Asian identity in science fiction’s imagination from fear of the yellow peril and its host of stereotypes to techno-orientalism and the remains of a post-colonial heritage.

Films like Blade Runner (1982), Serenity (2005), Space Battleship Yamato (2010), and, most recently, Pacific Rim (2013) present convincingly orientalized futures. S. P. Somtow has won the Locus Award. Amitav Ghosh has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. E. Lily Yu has won the John W. Campbell Award. Aliette de Bodard, Ted Chang, and Ken Liu have all won Nebula Awards. Chang and Liu have also won Hugo Awards. Set in 23rd Century Thailand, Paolo Bacigalupi’s debut novel The Windup Girl (2010) has won the Campbell, Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Awards. Recent journal issues (Science Fiction Studies 40.1 [2013], MELUS 33.4 [2008], Extrapolation 51.1 [2010], and Paradoxa 22 [2010]), monographs (Tatsumi’s Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America [2006], Huang’s Contesting Genres in Contemporary Asian American Fiction [2010], and Park’s Yellow Future: Oriental Style in Hollywood Cinema [2010]), and collections on global sf (Hoagland’s and Sarwal’s Science Fiction, Imperialism and the Third World: Essays on Postcolonial Literature and Film [2010] and Ellis’s, Nandi’s, and Raja’s The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction [2011]) have been largely dedicated to representations of Asia and Asians in science fiction.

Yet science fiction from Asia, and Asia in science fiction remain relatively unexplored. In order to counteract this paucity, the editor of Eastern Worlds seeks essays that address:

1. Yellow Peril narratives in sf
2. Techno-orientalism
3. Asians as alien subjects
4. The Pacific Rim in sf
5. The Indian Ocean world
6. Orientalized futures
7. Questioning the possibility of trans-
identities and/or spaces (national, racial,
historical, temporal, cultural, social,
physical, sexual, and/or psychological)
8. Critical work on sf by Asians and Asian
diasporic authors (Chinese, Japanese, Korean,
Vietnamese, Indian, etc.)
9. Critical work on the representation of the
Far East in sf by non-Asian authors

The editor invites submissions that respond to the focus of the volume and also welcomes general inquires about a particular topic’s suitability. Please submit 250-400 word abstracts, a working bibliography, and a brief CV electronically as MS Word attachments to Isiah Lavender, III at isiahl@lsu.edu by May 1, 2014.

Accepted articles should be between 4500 and 6000 words in length, including “Works Cited,” and prepared in MLA style, and forwarded as MS Word attachments.

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
postcolonial
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond