Mark Bould

Article excerpt

I had intended a brief note to celebrate some of the exciting new things going on in the field, such as the burgeoning engagements with science studies, animal studies, afrofuturism, biopolitics, with sf from peripheral and semi-peripheral regions, with other media and practices, as well as with long-neglected aspects of the history of prose sf. I had also intended to talk about the strength of the field, with multiple new journals proliferating in the space first opened up by Extrapolation all those years ago.

But as I sat down to write last weekend, protests erupted over 'Hanoi' Jane Fonda's return to Broadway and over Sean Penn's Oscar for his portrayal of Harvey Milk, with pundits everywhere hilariously depicting Hollywood and mainstream US media as some kind of left-wing propaganda machine relentlessly promoting "post-American" values--claims every bit as ludicrous as those about President Obama's "socialism." Meanwhile, some of my students, who had joined the wave of occupations in solidarity with Palestine at British universities, won amazing concessions from UWE (including bursaries for students from the Islamic University of Gaza, which was bombed by the Israeli Airforce, and for Israeli conscientious objectors refused university places). All of which might not seem to have very much to do with sf or sf studies, but nonetheless reminded me of just how privileged the place we occupy is and how what we do contributes to the world in which we live. …