3rd May 2019 by

The Cultural Politics of Popular Fantasy: Ramzi Fawaz (Wed 8 May 2019)

To start off the summer term, we’re reading a short section from Ramzi Fawaz’s book The New Mutants (2016). Fawaz draws on queer theory, affect and enchantment to examine popular fantasy as catalyst for political and social change, arguing for the productive possibilities of fascination with fantasy figures, including “superhumans, mutants, aliens, cyborgs and ‘companion species’ of all kinds” (The New Mutants, p.28).


Ramzi Fawaz, The New Mutants, pp.26-33 (PDF). NB you will need to log in to Canvas to access this PDF; please email d.butchard@bham.ac.uk if the link doesn’t work for you. 

Time & Place:
  • 14:00-15:30, Wed 8 May 2019
  • Arts 247 (Dorothy’s office)
“The entertainment value of popular fantasy – its ability to induce pleasure in witnessing impossible phenomena or experiencing lifeworlds that have no everyday corollary, or else unevenly map onto reality – signals its embeddedness in commodity culture but also highlights its capacity to inaugurate or invent new political desires, new worlds, through modes of enchantment and wonder.” – Ramzi Fawaz, The New Mutants, p.28

About the Doctoral Seminar:

This is an informal weekly reading group run for postgraduates within the Department of English Literature. We select a short text to read in advance, often a work of theory, then meet to discuss it. The seminar provides an opportunity to consider aspects of the reading that were thought-provoking or challenging for you, think about how it relates to texts you may have studied or plan to read, and share aspects of your own research and academic practice. It’s also a chance to get together, try out ideas, and meet fellow postgraduate researchers. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits and you are very welcome!