Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rule Britannia?

Essay about race, post/colonialism, and steampunk.

My two cents is that I hardly think something has to be British to be steampunk, and when it is, I prefer a critical examination of Empire.

Silver Goggles seems to be a blog dedicated specifically to the topic of "hey, wasn't there more of the world than England?"


  1. >>and when it is, I prefer a critical examination of Empire.

    Hmmm. Please find me something written in the last ten years about the Victorian era that *isn't* critical of colonialism and the Empire. I am hard-pressed to think of anything, fictional or otherwise.

    I see a few examples here and there of non-British steampunk-ism. I would wager money that a steampunkish American Western (think the Wierd West idea) is an up-n-coming genre. I know that doesn't buck a western-centered culture but at least it's not British.

  2. Fair point. I admit, most of the steampunk I'd read had a very critical edge, but I always figured that was a selection bias, as I tend to follow authors who make that kind of critique a point in their work. There are, however, some I have read where the idea of colonialism was just ignored completely- the Song of the South problem, where the historical conflicts are played way down in order to tell a different type of story, which is kind of on a sliding scale of problematic depending on the breadth of the story and where it's set.

    But yeah, fair point anyway. I was in a holding pattern on this one of just accepting the word of other people who were upset about it that this was a problem, rather than basing it off personal observation.

    That's why I like you. You keep me honest.