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Collective close reading: queer SF and the methodology of the many

Butt, A., Dillon, T., Hill, R., Murphy, S., Rossi, E., Smith, S., Stone, K. and Yun Lee, S. (2022) Collective close reading: queer SF and the methodology of the many. In: Lisa, Y., Keren, O., Sonja, F. and Wendy, G. P. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction. Routledge. ISBN 9780367537012 (In Press)

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Beyond Gender Research Collective are a group of researchers, activists and practitioners brought together by a shared commitment to imagining the world differently through collaborative explorations of queer, trans, and feminist science fiction. As Beyond Gender we understand ourselves as an example of what Jasbir K. Puar describes as a queer assemblage; we form, and are formed by, a practice we have developed called "collective close reading" (CCR). We begin this chapter by outlining CCR as a practice of utopian worlding: CCR is our method for reading and enacting science fiction, through which we exercise our capacity for imagining, dreaming, and building together. We apply this methodology to Ursula K. Le Guin’s "The Shobies' Story" (1990), particularly focussing on the ways in which Le Guin's narrative gestates new modes of art and of kinship, based on celebration of communal activity and politics of affinity. We conclude by connecting this reading of and through Le Guin's tale to our collective practices of performing science fictionality and of empathetic friendship. In doing so, we demonstrate how––like Le Guin’s Shobies––Beyond Gender's dedication to communal play and care allows us to insist upon expansive, heteroglossic, and generative possibilities in our collective futures.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:108365

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