EXPLORING THE POLITICS OF FANTASY: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS INTO THE WORLDS OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION
AdvisorMaves Braithwaite, Jessica
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the 2022-2023 school year, I conducted my Honors Senior Thesis for my Political Science Major. I merged my interests of political science, fantasy and science fiction novels, and celebrating diverse voices into the creative thesis project I am submitting here, which explores the politics of fantasy or science fiction and its reflection of political conflicts of the real world. In my research, I read the following fantasy/science fiction books, which are explored in my thesis: Babel - R.F. Kuang, 2022. These Violent Delights (Book 1) - Chloe Gong, 2020. Our Violent Ends (Book 2) - Chloe Gong, 2021. I also read other books that fit this category of fantasy/science fiction, but were not necessarily discussed in this thesis: The Poppy War (Book 1) - R.F. Kuang, 2018. The Dragon Republic (Book 2) - R.F. Kuang, 2019. The Burning God (Book 3) - R.F. Kuang, 2020. She Who Became the Sun - Shelley Parker-Chan, 2021. Through my reading, I realized I wanted to explore specifically the lens of authors of color adding elements of political conflicts into their writing, with the intention of determining how the lived experiences of authors who are in minority groups shapes their creativity and examining the way in which that informs the fictional world they create. Additionally, I supplemented these readings with academic texts that have also explored the politics of fantasy. Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction - Isiah Lavender III. The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature - Edward James, Farah. Mendlesohn Contesting Genres in Contemporary Asian American Fiction - Betsy Huang Situating Intersectionality: Politics, Policy, and Power - Angelia R Wilson. With these resources compiled, I created a Discussion Guide for use by readers in an academic context to reference specific instances where the themes I identified were explored in the books. These Discussion Guides for the books listed above showcase a mixture of my research and insights into the creative choices of authors. They also challenge readers who can use these guides in an academic context to draw their own conclusions from the evidence I present here. An important addition to this thesis, as the creative vision of the author is at the heart of what I wanted to uncover, is an interview I conducted with author Chloe Gong. The transcript and a link to the Zoom interview is included, and I used what I learned from speaking with her in the creation of these discussion guides. Lastly, included in my thesis is a Reflection, which explores the key issues I noticed in reading fantasy/science fiction novels, what I learned about the ways these issues have been
Degree ProgramPolitical Science