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East Asian Futurisms: Exploring Speculative Fiction’s Commentaries on Power, Identity, and Society

Science fiction often highlights competing ideologies, dreams, and provides subversive commentary on political issues.  These stories also raise questions of which bodies are marked as “other” by categorization and placement in hierarchies, and/or understood as human.

Geared towards secondary teachers, this online seminar offered an introduction to political, cultural, and social challenges represented in East Asian science fiction ranging from the 1970s era of Japanese Doraemon comics to contemporary Chinese science fiction.  Cartoons, films, and fictional works from Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were examined.

As part of the seminar requirements, teachers watched one film, completed several readings, responded to online discussion forum prompts and wrote individual reflective assignments on Moodle.

Dates and times (online)

Meetings took place on Zoom on four Tuesdays from August 2 to August 23.

Seminar leaders

Brian Dowdle, Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Montana, and Lauren Collins, Program Director of Asian Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Seminar benefits

  • Teachers received free WA OSPI clock hours, books, resources and a seminar completion stipend

This program is sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington, and funded by a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).