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date: 05 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that, in order to lend the topic of the relationship between colonialism and science fiction its proper scope, one must articulate the grand historical narratives of colonialism and capitalism with one another while not subordinating either one to the other. It explores this thesis by examining two problems in postcolonial theory: first, the structural differences between dependent colonialism and settler colonialism; second, the construction of a subject position for postcolonial critique that is sufficiently uncompromised by the colonialist affiliations of Western history and philosophy. The chapter argues that the difference between settler and dependent colonialism has important ramifications for the interpretation of major SF texts, and that science fiction affords excellent resources for thinking about the problem of postcolonial subject formation. It concludes with a reading of Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred (1979) developing these ideas.

Keywords: colonialism, postcolonialism, science fiction, capitalism, settler colonialism, dependent colonialism, subject formation, Octavia E. Butler, Kindred

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