In Migrant Futures Aimee Bahng traces the cultural production of futurity by juxtaposing the practices of speculative finance against those of speculative fiction. While financial speculation creates a future based on predicting and mitigating risk for wealthy elites, the wide range of speculative novels, comics, films, and narratives Bahng examines imagines alternative futures that envision the multiple possibilities that exist beyond capital's reach. Whether presenting new spatial futures of the US-Mexico borderlands or inventing forms of kinship in Singapore in order to survive in an economy designed for the few, the varied texts Bahng analyzes illuminate how the futurity of speculative finance is experienced by those who find themselves mired in it. At the same time these displaced, undocumented, unbanked, and disavowed characters imagine alternative visions of the future that offer ways to bring forth new political economies, social structures, and subjectivities that exceed the framework of capitalism.
Aimee Bahng is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Pomona College.
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction. On Speculation: Fiction, Finance, and Futurity 1 1. Imperial Rubber: The Speculative Arcs of Karen Tei Yamashita's Rainforest Futures 25 2. Homeland Futurity: Speculations at the Border 51 3. Speculation and the Speculum: Surrogations of Futurity 79 4. The Cruel Optimism of the Asian Century 119 5. Salt Fish Futures: The Irradiated Transpacific and the Financialization of the Human Genome Project 146 Epilogue. Speculation as Discourse, Speculation as Exuberance 168 Notes 171 Bibliography 201 Index 217