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Science Fiction Against the Margins

  • Author(s): Montañez Smukler, Maya;
  • Relth-Miller, KJ;
  • Malcolm, Paul
  • et al.
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Abstract

"Science Fiction Against the Margins" explores what takes place when the science fiction genre extends outside of Hollywood and into independent filmmaking productions that foreground cultural difference, political injustice, and social inequality. Sci-fi films are typically dominated by Hollywood's action-driven melodramas and state-of-the-art spectacles featuring a heteronormative star who will restore social order, whether on earth or in space. "Science Fiction Against the Margins" challenges these conventions of mainstream cinema by considering how certain independent filmmakers repurpose established tropes to privilege alternative representations of race and ethnicity, gender politics, and national identity in the construction of speculative cinema. This project is funded by the Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time 2024 Grant that focuses on the intersection of science and art. During this Paper Talk we will present a working draft of our program introduction. The final project will consist of an eight-week, public film series showcasing feature films from around the globe, complementary narrative shorts and television programs, a groundbreaking anthology of original scholarship on the subject, and a graduate seminar in the Cinema and Media Studies Program.

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