Comp Lit 122U: Global Science Fictions

What could or would it mean to think science fiction globally? Among other things it would mean considering both (a) the near-total dominance of English in the canonical histories of the genre, and the resulting effects of that dominance on practices of translation, hence the nature of science fiction’s global production; and (b) the nature of the global in science fiction, hence the nature of sf’s global imagination or representation. These questions reify (casually) allegories of domination and of possibility, to some extent respectively, but also, of course, mutually. To think about them means thinking about the politics of sf, indeed of thinking about how we understand the relation between self-consciously political sf and the politics of the vast majority of contemporary sf literature. We will begin with politics, use it to frame history, and use both to parse, over the course of nine novels and two or three films, some preliminary answers to the question with which we began.

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