Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Steampunk Postcolonialist In School

I am taking time out from my homework right now to write this post. Yes, yes, yes, Jorge Cham's Unified Theory Of Procrastination, it's true! (He came to deliver his talk at my university; it was neat.) At this moment, I am writing up a response to Jameson's "Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," which is his general description of postmodernism, and if you want my initial thoughts on it, you can go here.

Anyway the steampunk postcolonialist has not really been updating very much because she is now officially in grad school! ... Well, I guess this is something that should have been announced back in March, when she was officially accepted, or sometime a few weeks ago, when she got her student ID. Not only am I a student with three three-hour classes per week (a core course on Cultural Studies, "Politics for our Times" and "Public Intellectuals and Their Work", if you're curious), with readings and responses and essays and stuff, I am also a teaching assistant for two lovely classes on Shorter Genres (short fiction and poetry). Somewhere in between all this, I have to fit in developing a proposal for a Major Research Project. 

However! This does not mean I am gone from the Internet entirely. I will be writing for's upcoming Steampunk Fortnight, with a review of Scott Westerfeld's Behemoth (which, I don't need to tell you, is spiffy as all get-out) and I have already devoured Gail Carriger's Blameless (which has no race-related content, hence precious little for me to review specifically for Silver Goggles, but nonetheless I shall recommend). If you bug me enough, I will write my review on Cherie Priest's Dreadnought a bit faster. 

Until I have some space to breathe, here, have a trailer of a 2008 movie, Queens of Langkasuka, which I picked up in Malaysia, and is a great South East Asian historical fantasy movie with arguably steampunk elements:

My copy has Malay subtitltes. I understand from Ay-Leen that you can find this, dubbed, on Netflix, under "Legend of the Tsunami Warrior" (which is stupid, being that the movie doesn't focus solely on Pari, whom Ananda Everingham portrays, but that's marketing to Western audiences for ya). Here, have some screencaps. Langkasuka was situated on a stretch on the Malay Peninsula, covering both where modern Thailand and Malaysia are. Wikipedia has a nice map. As such, you can see both Siamese and Malay aesthetics within this movie. The historical details are a bit wrong for the movie, since the queens named in this movie are actually queens of Pattani, the kingdom which replaced Langkasuka in the region. But the Thai are allowed to re-write their own history, the way I see it, for their own entertainment. And anyway, you wouldn't want to argue with queens in armour, no matter what era they're really from.

In the meantime, readers, how have you been?