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The Irelands that we dreamed of: Irish science fiction from the 1850s to the present

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dc.contributor.advisor Griffin, Michael
dc.contributor.advisor Moylan, Tom Fennell, Jack 2016-05-18T13:48:15Z 2016-05-18T13:48:15Z 2013
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract My original contribution to knowledge is a synthesis between ‘mythological’ and ‘historical’ definitions of science fiction, a synthesis which I believe allows for a more nuanced understanding of postcolonial SF. In this project, I use Irish SF (hitherto treated as an anomaly or a novelty, when its existence is acknowledged at all) as an extended case-study. In this thesis, I revisit the oft-scorned argument that the genre is in fact structurally related to myth. Taking my cue from the work of Tatiana Chernyshova and Kôichi Yamano, I assert that SF grows out of pseudo-scientific narratives that are formed in the same way as myths: individuals whose understanding of a subject is limited will “fill in the gaps” in their knowledge with anecdotes, ‘common sense’ and faulty extrapolations. A large proportion of this supplementary material is drawn from preexisting cultural logics. Postcolonial territories are particularly fertile ground for strange varieties of scientific myth, as the process of colonization (often a sudden, violent and incoherent one) created popular cultures in which the ideology of modernity (science, industry, capitalism) was mediated through native knowledge-systems (magic, tradition). These give rise to non-Western pseudo-sciences that in turn produce idiosyncratic SF literatures. I combine this understanding of traditional cultural logics with Darko Suvin’s categorisation of SF, fantasy and horror as ‘ahistorical’ literatures to suggest a new way of understanding the kinship between them. I focus on Ireland, and examine how the ongoing collision between modernity and tradition has shaped an indigenous SF largely characterised by insecurity and the fear of infiltration from outside. Whereas previously this kind of paranoia has been linked almost exclusively to Irish Protestantism and Ulster unionism in particular, I argue that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that this ‘siege mentality’ manifests across the whole of Irish society. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.subject mythology en_US
dc.subject history en_US
dc.subject science fiction en_US
dc.title The Irelands that we dreamed of: Irish science fiction from the 1850s to the present en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor IRC en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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