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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Postethnicity and Antiglobalization in Chicana/o Science Fiction: Ernest Hogan’s Smoking Mirror Blues, and Rosaura Sáncez and Beatrice Pita’s Lunar Braceros 2125-2148


During the past decades, science fiction has evidenced an often-unacknowledged problematic brought to the forefront by advocates of alter-globalization: the future is (still) predominantly white, masculine, and globally built on indigenous exploitation. In the era of multinational capitalism, the trend towards an apparent postnationalism paradoxically risks leading towards what Lysa Rivera has described as a “Fourth World [which] promotes the ‘multiplication of frontiers and the smashing apart of nations’ and indigenous communities.”Simultaneously, the increase of ethnic transnational conflicts in a globalized world has prompted the pursuit of a utopian postethnic future that seeks social harmony but seems to be spiraling into the erosion of the American ethnic paradigm through the configuration of nonspecific and inconsistent ethnic categories, derived from the “lumping of all indigenous people into one category,” as Linda Alcoff claims.

This paper aims at exploring the Chicana/o cultural and ethnic identity in the context of multinational capitalism through its articulation and dissolution in the realm of science fiction, where issues such as postethnicity and its intricate connection with corporate globalization are discussed. The study will focus on the analysis of two novels: Smoking Mirror Blues (2001), by Ernest Hogan, and one instance of what Catherine Ramírez has termed ‘Chicanafuturism,’ Lunar Braceros 2125-2148 (2009), by Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita.

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