Like Clockwork: Steampunk Pasts, Presents, and Futures

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Co-winner, Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Popular Culture and American Culture 

Once a small subculture, the steampunk phenomenon exploded in visibility during the first years of the twenty-first century, its influence and prominence increasing ever since. From its Victorian and literary roots to film and television, video games, music, and even fashion, this subgenre of science fiction reaches far and wide within current culture. Here Rachel A. Bowser and Brian Croxall present cutting-edge essays on steampunk: its rise in popularity, its many manifestations, and why we should pay attention. 

Like Clockwork offers wide-ranging perspectives on steampunk’s history and its place in contemporary culture, all while speaking to the “why” and “why now” of the genre. In her essay, Catherine Siemann draws on authors such as William Gibson and China Miéville to analyze steampunk cities; Kathryn Crowther turns to disability studies to examine the role of prosthetics within steampunk as well as the contemporary culture of access; and Diana M. Pho reviews the racial and national identities of steampunk, bringing in discussions of British chap-hop artists, African American steamfunk practitioners, and multicultural steampunk fan cultures.

From disability and queerness to ethos and digital humanities, Like Clockwork explores the intriguing history of steampunk to evaluate the influence of the genre from the 1970s through the twenty-first century. 

Contributors: Kathryn Crowther, Perimeter College at Georgia State University; Shaun Duke, University of Florida; Stefania Forlini, University of Calgary (Canada); Lisa Hager, University of Wisconsin–Waukesha; Mike Perschon, MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta; Diana M. Pho; David Pike, American University; Catherine Siemann, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Joseph Weakland, Georgia Institute of Technology; Roger Whitson, Washington State University. 

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