Appel à contributions : Italian Dysphoric Speculative Science Fiction

Échéance : été 2023
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The editors of an in-process project on speculative fiction and Italian diaspora seek additional essays that address a general context of speculative fiction as it relates (or might relate) to how an “Italian” identity, broadly considered, operates globally and inclusively. Such an “Italian” identity could include persons of any race or gender or located in any world region. In this context, speculative fictions could be somewhat broader than “fantastika” (fantasy, horror, science fiction), also encompassing other forms such as mythology or alternative realities. We welcome essays on speculative fiction in any form or genre including film, comics, graphic narrative, television, and performance and from any critical perspective.

We’re specifically interested in the ways that “Italianness” as an identity that becomes racialized as “white” in the twentieth century, but has linkages back to antiquity, offers opportunities for examining broader questions about race, ethnicity, and gender in the space of speculative fictions. For instance, what essential cultural differences in identification might exist for groups that appear to have access to whiteness now as opposed to those who are currently excluded? What is the cost of this access? A key question might be the influence of how “Italian” identities were assigned by outside groups such as the US government, the Roman Catholic Church, or the British Empire in advance of the existence of “Italy” as a unified political entity. What are the implications of these kinds of ideas and practices for other global groups? We’re especially interested in essays that address established modes of considering speculative fictions such as AfroFuturism and Techno-Orientalism to delve into deeper and longer historical movements and/or the future.

Some suggestions for thematic linkages would be:
• Race and ethnicity as essential elements of speculative fiction— especially for characters or positionalities that trouble dominant assumptions about specific types of European identities
• Gender relations, broadly conceived
• Migration, resettlement, geography — what “counts” when settling different types of terrain as belonging (or not) in a specific national or ethnic or cultural context?
• Political identification — how might the role of Fascism or other political systems in constructing a specific identity bring to bear on speculations about Italian identity? Might Facist propaganda itself be a type of speculative fiction?
• Religion and mythology — How might broader and longer histories of the Italian peninsula inform a notion of speculative fictions?

This is a mature project with an expression of interest in publishing from a publisher and several completed or near-completed essays.
Proposals/ideas are welcomed now (summer 2023) in advance of essays of about 6000 to 7000 words to be delivered in the Fall (dates to be negotiated). The editors (Lisa DeTora, Marc DiPaolo, Anthony Lioi) are happy to answer questions and work with authors to develop and refine promising contributions.

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