Alluvium Editorial 10.1

This special issue is dedicated to papers presented at the biennial BACLS “What Happens Now?” Conference that took place on 2-3 September 2021. The conference focused on representing a variety of concerns and topics represented in contemporary literature studies, and these are reflected in the articles published in this issue: they address the intersections between literary studies, video games and television series, pertinent questions of representation and identity in contemporary literature, as well as exploring the political and social formations of the present through critical and creative methods.

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Failure: The Ghost and the Mother

In this essay, I will explore the connection between failure, haunting and structures of power, and of care, by talking about the shared failures of the ghost and the mother. My wider research proposes parallels between the figure of the ghost and the (figurative and real) mother. I see many of these parallels as present in the ‘failures’ (I can’t stress the inverted commas enough) that I believe these figures end up sharing, and this will be my focus here.

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Queerversity: Desire and Sexuality in China Miéville’s Fiction

Antke Engel, who works in the field of gender studies and queer theory, points out that gender difference and heteronormativity are organised by two mechanisms of power, normalisation and hierarchisation. Binary constructs have a crucial function in these processes. They influence concepts of identity and self-identification but are undermined by …

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The Electronic Heart

‘I can feel it’. HAL 9000, the supercomputer at the centre of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), makes this claim to emotional sensitivity moments before its higher functions are terminated by astronaut Dave Bowman, the sole surviving human aboard…

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