Call for Papers: Edited Collection: Techno-Orientalism in Science Fiction Film, Media and, Literature

Editors: David Roh, Greta Niu, and Betsy Huang

Deadline: March 15, 2012

We seek submissions for an edited collection on techno-Orientalism, dubbed by David Morley and Kevin Robins and refined by Greta Niu as the practice of ascribing, erasing, and/or disavowing relationships between technology and Asian subjects.  From Sax Rohmer’s Dr. Fu Manchu in the early twentieth-century to William Gibson’s late twentieth-century cyber adventures, figurations of Asian people and landscapes have been uncannily linked to societal desires and fears in speculative discourses of science and technology.  Fu Manchu, for instance, embody the onset of American techno-Orientalist anxieties through his occult-like ability to co-opt Western knowledge, while Gibson’s Asian landscapes and ninja bodyguards play upon late-capitalist fears of faceless, mechanical, de-individuated Japanese sarariman (Salarymen) who threaten American economic dominance. This volume aims to establish techno-Orientalism as a crucial and compelling cross-genre critical field, and to provide critical insight into the problematically persistent trope of the technologized Asian in science fiction literature, film, and new media.

Articles may address techno-Orientalist tropes in multiple media, including literature, film, digital games, and electronic texts in which the Asian subject, technological proxy, or cultural representation plays a central, contextual, or peripheral role.  We welcome submissions that examine, for example, the literary works of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Ted Chiang; cinematic examples of the Fu Manchu films, Johnny Mnemonic, Goonies, Gung-Ho, The Matrix Trilogy, Bladerunner, Kill Bill, Robot Stories, Battlestar Galactica, and the heavily Sino-influenced futures of Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity; televisual media such as a series of Verizon commercials featuring Asian American subjects; and electronic games/media such as World of Warcraft, Homefront, or Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries.

The editors invite articles (approximately 6,000 words) that respond to the focus of the volume. General inquires and article abstracts (300-400 words), along with a brief C.V., should be submitted by March 15, 2012, to David Roh at droh@odu.edu, while completed essays must be submitted by September 28th, 2012, following MLA formatting guidelines.

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About Paura

Paula lives in the vortex of graduate life. She studies medieval Japanese history and hopes to one day be competent enough to teach it to others.
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