ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Urban Futures: representations of South Asian cities in SF literature


Harder Hans - Heidelberg University, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg, Germany


08 – Imagining the city: Literary and religious practices of urbanity in early modern and modern South Asia


 Quo vadis, South Asian metropolis? One of the liveliest platforms on which South Asian urbanity is imagined and critically discussed is modern and contemporary Science Fiction. A booming genre in recent years, SF writings (and films) in languages such as Bengali, Tamil, Urdu, Marathi and Hindi – not to mention the most recent production in English – have produced quite a range of urban scenarios for the subcontinent.

In this paper, I will present some future cities from South Asian Science Fiction, discuss their (predictably mostly) dystopian nature, and position these narratives within existing representations of urbanity in South Asia.