'Scientists in Nigerian Science Fiction' By Polina Levontin.



Luna's second Call for Papers, 'The Evolution of African Fantasy and Science Fiction' will be released on Tuesday the 7th of August 2018. Explore the five brilliant papers you will find in the book.

Today, we introduce you to Polina Levontin (Russia). She is presenting the paper: "Scientists in Nigerian Science Fiction".

Polina says:

"Science fiction is a recent genre classification in Nigerian literature. The standard references such as The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (2003) or Palgrave Histories of Literature: The history of science fiction (2005) are yet to mention Nigerian writers. Currently, there is only a limited body of work available in English, but it has been growing steadily since 2000. African literature tends to be analysed from the perspectives of race and ethnicity, (post)colonialism and globalisation. However, I am more interested in the role that science-fiction could play in the conversation about science and scientists. Canonical works from North American and European authors have been considered in this way, but to my knowledge little has been done to interrogate the narratives around science in Nigerian literature. This study examines representations of scientists in Nigerian science fiction in relation to discourses on gender, science and technology.

There is sufficient evidence for the idea that fictional representations and public opinion of science are linked, and that studying representations of scientists is relevant to the task of understanding public perceptions. These linkages are not yet well understood however, and care must be taken in proposing social implications of fictional representations without further research. The evidence points to a complex relationship which is mediated by journalists and policy makers, and is contingent on individually held values. The relationship between Nigerian science fiction and the Nigerian public’s attitudes to science is even more uncertain, because domestic markets are nascent and the majority of readers of Nigerian science fiction are in the Global North. Although it would be premature to draw conclusions about the Nigerian public’s attitudes to science based on these texts, this study identifies socially relevant hypotheses that could be explored in further research.."

As always, you will be able to pre-order at a discount through the Luna website, and if you are subscribed to our newsletter, you will also get the special extra discount voucher on the 1st of July.

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