Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness by Helen Young

By Helen Young

This publication illuminates the racialized nature of twenty-first century Western pop culture by way of exploring how discourses of race stream within the myth style. It examines not just significant texts within the style, but additionally the influence of franchises, undefined, editorial and authorial practices, and fan engagements on race and illustration. impending fable as an important component to pop culture, it visits the struggles over race, racism, and white privilege which are enacted inside inventive works throughout media and the groups which revolve round them. whereas students of technology Fiction have explored the genre’s racialized constructs of attainable futures, this e-book is the 1st exam of delusion to absorb the subject of race extensive. The book’s interdisciplinary process, drawing on Literary, Cultural, Fan, and Whiteness experiences, bargains a cultural historical past of the anxieties which hang-out Western pop culture in a century wanting to claim itself post-race. The beginnings of the fable genre’s conduct of whiteness within the 20th century are tested, with an exploration of the ongoing influence of older troublesome works via franchising, model, and imitation. younger additionally discusses the key twenty-first century sub-genres which either re-use and subvert delusion conventions. the ultimate bankruptcy explores debates and anti-racist praxis in authorial and fan groups. With its multi-pronged procedure and cutting edge method, this e-book is a vital and unique contribution to reviews of race, delusion, and twenty-first century well known culture.

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Extra resources for Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness

Sample text

Ken Gelder argues that industry and entertainment are two of the defining features of popular fiction;1 the economic power behind industry production and the consumption of entertainment – via disposable income – was skewed in favour of White men even more than it is today. The names which are most commonly linked to the foundation of the genre in the early-to-mid twentieth century are those of White men: Robert E. Howard, J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, and C. S. Lewis. Authors of colour, however, may equally have been involved, at least in pulp publishing, as Samuel R.

2 Delany writes particularly of Science Fiction, but the same observations apply to pulp Fantasy. Early audiences evinced unanswered interest in the lives of authors – Weird Tales readers wrote to the magazine requesting that biographies be printed, for example a letter published in the January 1934 volume – but even at the time, editors and audiences alike often knew little of many. The visible authors, whose work is most commonly cited and of whom we know most, are not necessarily representative of the whole.

70 The motif is regularly repeated. ”71 Conan is a White American hero: self-sufficient and independent, strong, honest, and moral, abiding by his own code of honour. His “dual identity of being a savage, but being white,”72 makes him naturally suited to lead the softer, more decadent and corrupted peoples of the south; he becomes, among other things, king of the southern, medievalist realm of Aquilonia. 73 Conan is depicted as a natural leader of peoples of other races on multiple occasions. ”75 Conan is the Germanic barbarian tribesman of Tacitus, filtered through nineteenth-century American Anglo-Saxonism and re-modeled for twentieth-century consumption.

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