The Abstracts — Femspec 11.2, Vol 11, Issue 2, 2011
Summary: This issue is dedicated to Jill Johnston: columnist, art critic, and lesbian activist. The theme is Élisabeth Vonarburg, Canadian Science Fiction author. Some articles, including a response from the author, appear in both French and English.
By BATYA WEINBAUM and KATHE DAVIS
Topics include surmounting funding woes and an introduction to issue theme Élisabeth Vonarburg. Weinbaum and Davis also discuss the notion of feminist radicalism and some of Vonarburg's words on the subject.
GUEST EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION:
“‘Queen of Memory’: Introduction” By AMY J. RANSOM Our guest editor offers a short biography and an overview of Vonarburg's career. Ransom coronates Vonarburg "Queen of Memory" for her recent uchronic fantasy quintology Reine de Memoire.
“From Silence to Memory: An Interview with Élisabeth Vonarburg” By MILÉNA SANTORO A roundtable interview with the author conducted at Georgetown University, provided both in English and French. Topics include the gender politics of SF and pseudonyms but is primarily a discussion of Vonarburg's oeuvre.
“Reluctant Travelers: Vonarburg's Postcolonial Posthuman Voyagers” By ANNA L. BEDFORD Bedford discusses how Vonarburg transforms the voyager archetype from male narrators playing at objectivity while entrenched in colonialism to post-colonial feminist travelers. The title references Vonarburg's Les Voyageurs Malgre Eux but also discusses La Silence de la Citie.
“Sexualects in Vonarburg's In the Mother's Land” Fledgling” By SHARON TAYLOR This essay, provided in both English and French, weaves together theories by several influential thinkers, including Bahktin and Irigaray. The subject is the utopian and dystopian qualities of Vonarburg's novel and "sexualects," how sexualized language constructs identity. Specifically, the Maerlande people's "feminized langauge and history" propogates the biases of the fictional society.
RESPONSE TO ESSAYS:
“Afterword/Postface” By ÉLISABETH VONARBURG In both English and Francais, Vonarburg tells us how she came to consider herself a feminist, making a few confessions in the process. She responds to the essays included in this issue.
“In Memory of the Most Magical Friend I Ever Had: Leonora Carrington” By GLORIA F. ORENSTEIN Orenstein relates several trips she took with Carrington, the renowned surrealist painter. From New York to Mexico, Orenstien's account ranges from the touching to the appropriately surreal.
“Review of Hollywood Bohemians: Transgressive Sexuality and the Selling of the Movie Dreamland” By JONATHAN ALEXANDER Alexander tells us the book is about how movie executives and producers manipulated the moral conflict evoked by the taboo in the starlets of early Hollywood.
“Review of Ursula Le Guin's Journey to Post-Feminism by Amy Clarke” By SHARON DE GRAW Our reviewer has a few disagreements with Clarke's book and yet finds several points of worthy accomplishment. The book under review chronicles le Guin's feminist influences and evolving opinions. de Graw hashes out conflicting definitions of post-feminism.
“Review of Science Fiction from Quebec: A Postcolonial Study by Amy J. Ransom” By PHILLIPA KAFKA Ransom argues that Quebec's science fiction should be canonized. Kafka has much to say about this idea and others in her review of this thorough and comprehensive work.
“A Review of LeeAnne Howe's Miko King: An Indian Baseball Story” By AMY J. RANSOM Amy Ransom looks at this genre-bending novel about Oklahoma Choctaws and baseball. Is it sports fiction? Science fiction? A "postcolonial ghost story?"
“Review of Mars Needs Moms!” By MARIA I. VELAZQUEZ In this erudite pop-culture analysis, our own Maria Velasquez sees this animated film as part of the heteronormative tradition in science fiction and mainstream film.