I completed proofreading the book that I co-edited with my friends and colleagues Masood Raja and Swaralipi Nandi called The Postnational Fantasy: Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics, and Science Fiction. It took a long time to carefully work through the chapters of our book, but I found it an enriching and joyous endeavor to read each of our contributor’s chapters again. I believe that we put together an outstanding set of essays by some of the brightest thinkers on the borders where postcolonialism and science fiction meet. Having been away from these chapters for half a year before getting the proofs back gave me a fresh perspective to enjoy these chapters all over again. I will post more updates on dynamicsubspace.net when I know the date of publication. Many thanks again to my co-editors, our contributors, and our reviewers for assembling the book, and my deepest gratitude to McFarland & Company for publishing our work for others to read.
The latest issue of the open access journal Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies, Vol. 2 Issue 3 is now available here!
This is a special issue on The 1971 Indo-Pakistan War and it is edited by Dr. Cara Cilano, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. This issue includes articles by Philip Oldenburg, Roger Vogler, Luke A. Nichter and Richard A. Moss, and Mavra Farooq. There are reviews of Shailah Abdullah’s Saffron Dreams, Ali Seth’s The Wish Maker, Afzal Ahmed Syed’s Rococo and Other Worlds, and Modern Poetry of Pakistan. The issue also includes notes on human and economic growth by Asad Zaman and a review of an exhibit of Pakistan art in France by David Waterman. You will find new poetry by Rizwan Akhtar and Shadab Zeest Hashmi, too. View the whole table of contents here.
This is also the last issue of Pakistaniaat in which I will serve as layout editor. It has been a very rewarding experience helping Masood Raja with Pakistaniaat. I clearly remember him approaching me one afternoon in my office at school about a new journal that he was launching. He needed someone to layout the issues for online access and printing, and he thought I would be the right person for the job. Masood wrote some very kind things about my work and our laying out the journal here. The first issue was a harrowing adventure for me–creating a layout template, figuring out the changes in InDesign from the outdated Pagemaker I learned over 10 years ago in high school, and troubleshooting un-embedded fonts at the 11th hour inside Angel Falls Coffee Shop in Akron. I would like to thank Masood for giving me an opportunity to work such an important project from its beginning. I also give thanks to the many contributors to the journal and its editors. Best of luck to the journal’s continued success and good work!
[About the picture above: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi meeting for the Simla talks.]
I’m happy to announce that Masood A. Raja, Swaralipi Nandi, and I have signed a contract with McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers to publish our forthcoming edited collection on postcoloniality and science fiction tentatively titled, The Postnational Fantasy: Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics, and Science Fiction.
I would like to thank our wonderfully brilliant contributors who have submitted their work to be a part of this edited collection. And, I would like to thank my co-editors, Masood and Swaralipi, who have helped me nurse this project from an afternoon office conversation into a book that is nearing materialization.
I have included a brief description of the project below. As the publication process develops and a finalized table of contents is available, I will post it to dynamicsubspace.net and Masood will post it to his blog here.
The Postnational Fantasy: Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction places itself at the nexus of current debates about nationalism, postnational capitalism, the reassertion of third world nationalism and its cosmopolitical counterparts, and the role of contemporary Science Fiction (SF) and fantasy in challenging, normalizing, or contesting these major conceptual currents of our times. This new collection of essays, thus, brings together, in one volume, the interplay of critical and theoretical insights both from Postcolonial and Science Fiction studies.
In a way SF and Postcolonial Literature both have traditionally dealt with the question of the other. Thus, while SF has been traditionally concerned with the issues of the alien and the ontological other, the leading postcolonial works have usually focused on giving voice to the silenced colonized others. Just as the SF writer must ‘train’ the reader in his or her imagined setting, so does the postcolonial author feel the need to inform the reader while attempting to represent the postcolonial subjects. This combination of representation and didactics, crucial to SF and postcolonial writing, can therefore be an interesting starting point for bringing the two overlapping fields of artistic endeavor together, as both have a lot to offer in theorizing and debating the national, the postcolonial, and the cosmopolitan in the era of high capital. As of now, not many critical texts attempt to rewrite postcoloniality through a textual and theoretical reading of contemporary SF nor has there been a worthwhile attempt in postcolonial studies to incorporate the contemporary SF in the cultural and political debates. It is, therefore, one of the goals of this volume to enrich both Postcolonial Studies and SF studies with a nuanced borrowing and intermixing of their primary texts and modes of interpretation, which would, we hope, enrich both fields of study by sharing their common and particular modes of reading and responding to the texts. Important also in our study would be the nature of representation itself, but especially the affective value of the texts in generating and foregrounding the questions of feelings invoked by the SF and the postcolonial text, and the impact of this emotive state on the issues of national, postnational, and cosmopolitan identity formation.