I have been writing about Larissa Lai’s work for some time now–particularly her novels Salt Fish Girl and The Tiger Flu. I have taught Lai in a number of my courses, and her novels and poetry make for a wonderful, colorful, and materially queer addition to my Ethnic American Literature, Feminist Science Fiction, and Speculative Literature classes. In fact, a recent article I co-authored with Dr. Stevi Costa just came out in Project(ing) Human: Representations of Disability in Science Fiction this April 2023; the essay is entitled “Fish, Roses, and Sexy Sutures: Disability, Embodied Estrangement, and Radical Care in Larissa Lai’s The Tiger Flu.”
I am currently working on a new essay on Asianfuturism in SF and games of color, which I hope will be included in the new Techno-Orientalism volume edited by David Roh, Betsy Huang, Greta Niu, and Christopher T. Fan. I reached out to Lai to see if she would be willing to answer a few questions to help bolster my arguments, and she very kindly suggested that we do a public seminar to chat about these ideas and issues. This will be a part of her public events for her Maria Zambrano Fellowship at the University of Huelva in Spain. This session is entitled “Circling Asianfuturisms: Edmond Chang and Larissa Lai in Conversation,” and here is the description:
Circling Asianfuturisms: Edmond Chang and Larissa Lai in Conversation is the closing seminar in the series “Insurgencies: Speculative Fiction, Cultural Organizing, and Utopian Thought” at the University of Huelva.
In this seminar Edmond Chang and Larissa Lai will discuss the current state of Asian North American speculative fiction, with particular attention to the term “Asianfuturisms”. They will locate the term historically and relationally, and consider why it might be useful in the present. They will also talk about how Larissa’s fiction and poetry contributes to a more just and community-oriented world.
Monday, June 19th, 18:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time). Registrants will receive a Zoom link shortly prior to the event. To register, visit the Series website.
I am so excited to talk with Lai and to be a part of their series. Hopefully, not only will I get some good material for my essay, but perhaps the whole conversation can be published somewhere later. Many thanks to Larissa Lai and to the University of Huelva for hosting.