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Temporal Politics: Entangling Fictions, Futures, and Histories in Contemporary and Historical Speculative Fiction

Stock, Adam ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6172-0971 (2021) Temporal Politics: Entangling Fictions, Futures, and Histories in Contemporary and Historical Speculative Fiction. In: Fisiak, Tomasz and Ostalska, Katarzyna, (eds.) The Postworld In-Between Utopia and Dystopia Intersectional, Feminist, and Non-Binary Approaches in 21st Century Speculative Literature and Culture. Routledge, pp. 109-125

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Abstract

This chapter examines the treatment of temporality in a series of speculative fictions, and through this their engagement in political thinking. Considering in turn examples of future alterity (such as those written by Katharine Burdekin in the 1930s), alternate history (including Jo Walton’s 2006 novel Farthing), and alternate future-history (Naomi Alderman’s The Power, 2016), the chapter aims to show how the structuring of speculative texts can affect their ideological content. Often, such texts can naturalise the very logics of othering and oppression which they outwardly seek to counter, and here antisemitism, race and gender-based oppression are considered in this light. By contrast, both work by academic Ruha Benjamin and the novel Exit West (2017) by Mohsin Hamid show that temporal and spatial displacement in speculative fiction can work to counter to oppressive logics by foregrounding the structural consequences of their encounters with historical and on-going trauma. These texts resist historical closure and gesture toward modes of utopian alterity.
Antisemitism, oppression, temporality, histories, speculation, futurity.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Postworld In-Between Utopia and Dystopia on 30/12/2021 available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Postworld-In-Between-Utopia-and-Dystopia-Intersectional-Feminist/Ostalska-Fisiak/p/book/9780367537043
Status: Published
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5936

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