Indigenous Futurisms

Authored by: Corinna Lenhardt

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815351931
eBook ISBN: 9781351139885
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351139885-41

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Abstract

Drawing upon Brian K. Hudson’s (Cherokee) “Indigenous Cyberpunk Manifesto,” this chapter connects Indigenous futurisms to cyberpunk through a close analysis of such texts as Red Spider White Web by Misha (Métis), Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (Cherokee), and the short films File Under Miscellaneous by Jeff Barnaby (Mi’kmaq) and Future Warrior, directed by Pawnee Nation members Jeana Francis and Nigel R. Long Soldier. Overall, this chapter shows how Indigenized cyberpunk texts not only creatively counter stereotypical representations of ‘the Indian’ by writing Indigenous identities and cultures into cyberpunk, but they also rewrite and recreate the mode from within by placing survivance at their epicenters. Through the proliferation of Indigenized cyberpunk, authors, artists, and performers creatively and critically interrogate the optimism and pessimism prevalent in the factual necessity for Indigenous resurgence and survivance in dystopian, yet very real, settler colonial hierarchies. In the end, Indigenized cyberpunk narratives make abundantly clear that the path toward the best future yet is a painful and dark road through apocalyptic pasts, presents, and futures.

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