Special Issue "Dystopian Scenarios in Contemporary Australian Narrative"
A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2020) | Viewed by 19321
Interests: postcolonial literature and cinema; Australian literature; Indian literature; Dalit literature; trauma fiction; refugee narratives; Muslim feminisms
Not even during the Cold War were books about the apocalypse and its aftermath so popular. This is what has led many critics to conclude that we are living in a post-apocalyptic Golden Age. As is well known, post-apocalyptic books first became very popular during the 1950s, when people worried about communism and nuclear war; around 1980, when it was mainly plague and danger from space that aroused people’s fears; and from 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks of September 11 against the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, until the present moment, still suffering from the consequences of the ‘Global War on Terrorism’ ensuing in the wake of this traumatic event. The main reason this third phase has been labelled as ‘Golden Age’ is that people now are worried about almost everything: war, viruses, fundamentalisms of all kinds, ecological global disasters, genetically modified humans, computers that can no longer be kept under control, global warming, etc. As a result, apocalypse books have become especially popular all over the world, also among youngsters. In this respect, Australian fiction is a very special case in point. Although the apocalypse has always been a long-lasting trope in human culture, Australia has often been chosen as the location for narratives about the end of the world in science fiction and speculative works, which range from precolonial apocalyptic maps (terra australis incognita: Australia as both utopia —as portrayed by European idealistic visions of colonial potential—and dystopia—as the outcome of the realities of the outback and the relatively few sheltered ports, which triggered fears of invasion from without and indigenous rebellion from within), to major literary works from the last few decades. By inviting scholars from the fields of literature and cinema, and by applying multiple frameworks, methodological approaches and critical lenses, this monograph seeks to expose how this celebrated dystopian Australian tradition is presently delving into worrying global issues, such as ever-increasing industrial damage, precarious working and living conditions, the rise of populisms of all sorts, ecological disasters of unprecedented dimensions that can make life on the planet eventually impossible and, last but not least, the global refugee crisis and its concomitant undeterred flows of people forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of the consequences of climate change, persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations of all sorts. The main contribution of this monograph will therefore be to bring together genres that have often been studied separately. In other words, this volume will attempt to straddle fantastic literature and cinema, which allegedly depict imaginary/escapist worlds and mimetic fiction and productions, whose main concern is to reflect the real world, thus making it clear that the present is already corroborating and bearing witness to a number of futuristic nightmares.
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
- Planetary dystopias: climate change and environmental degradation
- Refuge narratives in the South Pacific
- Migration, refugees and xenophobia
- Aboriginal/Indigenous dystopias/dystopian Aboriginality
- Populism and the rise of radical movements
- Populisms and fake news
- The casualization of workforces and dystopian labor markets
- New modes and formats in representing dystopia
- Dystopia vs. Utopia
- Dystopia and the (mass and social) media
- Dystopia and education
- Dystopia and dispossession
- Dystopia and armed conflicts
- Dystopian femininity and motherhood
- Alternative futures, beyond dystopia
Dr. Dolores Herrero
Dr. Pilar Royo-Grasa
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- Australian narrative
- Australian cinema
- climate change
- refugee crisis
- fake news
- Aboriginal/ Indigenous rights
- women’s rights
- armed conflicts