Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements
Author: Walidah Imarisha
Publisher: AK Press
Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales ofOctavia’s Brood span genres—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism—but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renée Thomas.
In the last 30 years, a distinctive intersection between disability studies – including disability rights advocacy, disability rights activism, and disability law – and disability arts, culture, and media studies has developed. The two fields have worked in tandem to offer critique of representations of disability in dominant cultural systems, institutions, discourses, and architecture, and develop provocative new representations of what it means to be disabled. Divided into 5 sections: Disability, Identity, and Representation Inclusion, Wellbeing, and Whole-of-life Experience Access, Artistry, and Audiences Practices, Politics and the Public Sphere Activism, Adaptation, and Alternative Futures this handbook brings disability arts, disability culture, and disability media studies – traditionally treated separately in publications in the field to date – together for the first time. It provides scholars, graduate students, upper level undergraduate students, and others interested in the disability rights agenda with a broad-based, practical and accessible introduction to key debates in the field of disability art, culture, and media studies. An internationally recognised selection of authors from around the world come together to articulate the theories, issues, interests, and practices that have come to define the field. Most critically, this book includes commentaries that forecast the pressing present and future concerns for the field as scholars, advocates, activists, and artists work to make a more inclusive society a reality.
"There was a time I believed prisons existed to rehabilitate people, to make our communities safer. . . . When I saw for the first time (but not the last) a mother sobbing and clutching her son when visiting hours were up, only to be physically pried off and escorted out by guards, I knew nothing about that made me safer. This is the heart of this country's prison system. And the prison system has become the heart of America."—Walidah Imarisha, from the introduction. This is no romanticized tale of crime and punishment. The three lives in this creative nonfiction account are united by the presence of actual harm—sometimes horrific violence. Walidah Imarisha, a sexual assault survivor, brings us behind prison walls to visit her incarcerated brother Kakamia and his fellow inmate Jimmy "Mac" McElroy, a member of the Irish gang the Westies. Together they explore the questions: People can do unimaginable damage to one another—and then what? What do we as a society do? What might redemption look like? Imarisha doesn't flinch as she guides us through the complexities and contradictions of transformative justice, eschewing theory for a much messier reality. The result is a nuanced and deeply personal analysis that allows readers to connect emotionally with the stories she shares, and the people behind them. Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator, and spoken-word artist. She is the co-editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements and author of the collection of poetry Scars/Stars.
Fantasy literature, often derided as superficial and escapist, is one of the most popular and enduring genres of fiction worldwide. It is also—perhaps surprisingly—thought-provoking, structurally complex, and relevant to contemporary society, as the essays in this volume attest. The scholars, teachers, and authors represented here offer their perspectives on this engaging genre. Within these pages, a reader will find a wealth of ideas to help teachers use these texts in the classroom, challenging students to read fantasy with a critical eye. They employ interdisciplinary, philosophical, and religious lenses, as well as Marxist and feminist critical theory, to help students unlock texts. The books discussed include epic fantasy by such authors as Tolkien and Le Guin, children’s fantasy by Beatrix Potter and Saint-Exupéry, modern fantasy by Rowling and Martin, and even fairy tales and comic books. The contributors offer provocations, questioning the texts and pushing the boundaries of meaning within the fantasy genre. And in doing so, they challenge readers themselves to ponder these tales more deeply. But through each of these chapters runs a profound love of the genre and a respect for those who produce such beautiful and moving stories. Furthermore, as with all the books in this series, this volume is informed by the tenets of critical pedagogy, and is focused on re-envisioning fantasy literature through the lens of social justice and empowerment. Prepare to be challenged and inspired as you read these explorations of a much-loved genre.
I began writing about power because I had so little, Octavia E. Butler once said. Butler's life as an African American woman--an alien in American society and among science fiction writers--informed the powerful works that earned her an ardent readership and acclaim both inside and outside science fiction. Gerry Canavan offers a critical and holistic consideration of Butler's career. Drawing on Butler's personal papers, Canavan tracks the false starts, abandoned drafts, tireless rewrites, and real-life obstacles that fed Butler's frustrations and launched her triumphs. Canavan departs from other studies to approach Butler first and foremost as a science fiction writer working within, responding to, and reacting against the genre's particular canon. The result is an illuminating study of how an essential SF figure shaped themes, unconventional ideas, and an unflagging creative urge into brilliant works of fiction.