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Navigating beyond gender: the city in feminist science fiction

Butt, A., Dillon, T., Hill, R., Kabo, R., Murphy, S., Myer, S., Rossi, E. and Stone, K. (2023) Navigating beyond gender: the city in feminist science fiction. In: Kelly, M. G. and Paz, M. (eds.) Utopia, Equity and Ideology in Urban Texts: Fair and Unfair Cities. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783031258541

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Urban space has frequently been figured as hostile to women with feminist utopias located primarily in idyllic rural settings, out of the reach of the presumed masculinist violence of the city. In this chapter we focus on those utopian feminists who resist this urge to flee the city and instead seek to transform urban space. Specifically, we are interested in how the creations of queer science fiction might form part of this transformation. We read the strange cities imagined by James Tiptree Jr, Nalo Hopkinson, China Miéville and Laura Mixon as examples of a divergent feminist utopianism attentive to the racism, classism and transphobia often found in the pastoral imaginary of lesbian separatism. In these fractured, decaying, vibrant urban spaces, utopias are brought into being through rebellious walking practices, collective reclamations of privatised space and insistent, prefigurative dreaming. In order to put these disparate, fragmented texts into conversation with one another we have adopted the methodology of collective close reading: a form of textual interpretation built on our practice as a queer collective. In this way we hope to enact as well as analyse practices of collective care and coalition building – insisting on the possibility of queer, feminist utopias in the present.

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:108367
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan

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