• Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times

    Pages: 248
    Illustrations: 10 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Preface  ix
    Acknowledgments  xiii
    Introduction. On Speculation: Fiction, Finance, and Futurity  1
    1. Imperial Rubber: The Speculative Arcs of Karen Tei Yamashita's Rainforest Futures  25
    2. Homeland Futurity: Speculations at the Border  51
    3. Speculation and the Speculum: Surrogations of Futurity  79
    4. The Cruel Optimism of the Asian Century  119
    5. Salt Fish Futures: The Irradiated Transpacific and the Financialization of the Human Genome Project  146
    Epilogue. Speculation as Discourse, Speculation as Exuberance  168
    Notes  171
    Bibliography  201
    Index  217
  • "Elegantly written and meticulously researched, Migrant Futures breaks new ground in taking a comparative ethnic approach to Asian American literature and culture through the genre of speculative fiction. Scholars interested in critical ethnic studies, Marxist approaches to literary studies and gender and queer theory will be educated and persuaded by Aimee Bahng's compelling theorization of how speculation and economic extraction have traditionally gone hand in hand." — Rachel C. Lee, author of, The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies

    "Presenting readers with alternative visions of the future, Aimee Bahng's ambitious book turns attention to the dominant way in which we think of futurity: financial speculation. Against the ways the functioning of derivative markets depend upon a particular kind of storytelling about the future, which is often bet against, Bahng amasses an archive of fictional works that seeks to counter such storytelling by imagining and sharing a different version of the future. A stellar and important work." — Min Hyoung Song, author of, The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American

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  • Description

    In Migrant Futures Aimee Bahng traces the cultural production of futurity by juxtaposing the practices of speculative finance against those of speculative fiction. While financial speculation creates a future based on predicting and mitigating risk for wealthy elites, the wide range of speculative novels, comics, films, and narratives Bahng examines imagines alternative futures that envision the multiple possibilities that exist beyond capital’s reach. Whether presenting new spatial futures of the US-Mexico borderlands or inventing forms of kinship in Singapore in order to survive in an economy designed for the few, the varied texts Bahng analyzes illuminate how the futurity of speculative finance is experienced by those who find themselves mired in it. At the same time these displaced, undocumented, unbanked, and disavowed characters imagine alternative visions of the future that offer ways to bring forth new political economies, social structures, and subjectivities that exceed the framework of capitalism.

    About The Author(s)

    Aimee Bahng is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Pomona College.
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