Own maps/imagined terrain : colonial spaces and science fiction in India

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Contemporary English Studies Research Colloquium

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Theorizing science fiction (sf), especially postcolonial science fiction, has gained momentum in recent times, with a focus on the possibilities of disruption that the genre offers and the strategies that delineate the contours of its subversive tendencies. While the territories of theorization have led to a newer form of criticism, an attempt is yet to be made at mapping the emergence of sf as a genre within the colonial space of production. This paper traces the emergence of sf in India, marked by a certain conjuncture, with the arrival and entrenchment of colonial-Enlightenment science through English education, and the subsequent Indian responses to it. The paper situates Indian sf as a narrative mode embodying a certain kind of ambivalence that negotiates a space and an imagined territory within the framework of colonial science, through the analysis of the narrative trajectories of a few early Indian sf writings.

Recommended Citation

Hiradhar, P. (2016, April). Own maps/imagined terrain: Colonial spaces and science fiction in India. Invited seminar at Contemporary English Studies Research Colloquium, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

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