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Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East

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Edited By Anindita Banerjee and Sonja Fritzsche

The first collection of its kind, this anthology documents a radically different geography and history of science fiction in the world. Western, specifically Anglo-American, SF is not the only hub of the global trade of alternative realities and futures. Rather it is but only one of several competing flows and circuits of distribution, contacts, influence, translation, adaptation, and collaboration, across space and time. The essays collected here focus on arguably the biggest and most influential of those competing hubs: the socialist world and its extensive cultural networks across the global South and East. Written by scholars from around the world, the chapters address the «other» transatlantic of the Caribbean, Latin America, African America, and the Soviet Union; the surprising multitude of transnational networks behind the Iron Curtain; and asymptotic and subterranean discourses across Russia, India, and China. Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East is intended for scholars, students, and fans interested in science fiction, popular culture, comparative literature, film studies, postcolonialism, techno-science, translation studies, and the literature and cultures of China, Cuba, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, and Russia.

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7 Ghana-da in Bandung: Race, Science, and Non-Alignment in Premendra Mitra’s Fiction (Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee)

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UPAMANYU PABLO MUKHERJEE

7 Ghana-da in Bandung: Race, Science, and Non-Alignment in Premendra Mitra’s Fiction

Bandung Colors

Five years before his death, Richard Wright – the pioneering African-American author of Native Son – travelled to Bandung in Indonesia, where leaders of African and Asian countries were meeting to discuss the formation a new kind of political alliance called, paradoxically, “non-alignment.” Despite being the citizen of a global superpower whose domination was precisely against what this “non-alliance” was meant to work, Wright was confident of the common ground he shared as a black American with the gathering in Bandung:

I’m an American Negro; as such, I’ve had a burden of race consciousness. So have these people. I’ve worked in my youth as a common laborer, and I’ve a class consciousness. So have these people. I grew up in the Methodist and Seventh Day Adventist churches and I saw and observed religion in my childhood; and these people are religious. I was a member of the Communist Party for twelve years and I know something of the politics and psychology of rebellion. These people have had their daily existence in such politics. These emotions are my instruments. (13)

Wright’s reportage from Bandung meticulously documents the key conceptual status accorded to race in the analysis of modernity, especially during moments of epochal crises such as decolonization. He met other African-Americans in Bandung who were there to express solidarity with the wretched of...

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