Dr. Kiu-wai Chu1, Dr. Shubhda Arora2, Ms. Kelly Yin Nga Tse3, Ms. Jamie Wang4
1Nanyang Technological University, Jurong, Singapore, 2Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India, 3University of Oxford, Oxford, England, 4University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Chair: Dr Kiu-wai Chu
How do we define or construct narratives of (un)sustainability in Asia, in this epoch of the Anthropocene? How do speculative fictions, transnational documentaries, and state official narratives differ in portraying Asia’s eco-modernities? In what ways do narratives of alternative futures emerge?
In addressing these questions, this panel consists of ecocritical readings of a range of visual, textual and social texts in Asian contexts. From the eco-dystopian imagination of India’s technocratic, totalitarian future (Arora); the transnational effort in building a multispecies future with genetically engineered animals (Chu); the speculative literary imaginations of Hong Kong as a postcolonial city characterized by invisible ecological crisis (Tse); to urban planning rhetoric that seeks to reinvent Singapore as a “sustainable” city-in-a-garden (Wang), this panel examines the various narratives of (un)sustainability that increasingly shape our perceptions of Asia’s environmental futures.
Encompassing a range of disciplines such as environmental humanities; inter-Asia studies; postcolonial critique, and urban studies; this panel critically assesses and challenges dominant ideologies that are celebratory of global capitalist expansion and techno-centric developments in the rising Asia. It explores the complex connections, conflicts and dynamics among humans, nonhumans and the environment, under the rapidly changing environmental, social, cultural and economic conditions of Global Asia today.