Inquiries of “Home” in Modern and Contemporary East Asia
3: The Nostalgic Narrative of Waste Tide in the Posthuman Era
Friday, March 25, 2022
3:30pm – 5:00pm EST
Virtual Paper Presenter(s)
Independent Scholars of Asia, China (People's Republic)
The popular translations of the science fiction novel Waste Tide (荒潮), reveal the hidden dynamics of international e-waste recycling industries. It explores how different classes of society reflect on the concept of “nostalgia” and “home” in a climate-changing, capitalized, and cybernetic world.
The novel unfolds from diverse point-of-views: a diasporic, young, elite Chinese citizen who tried to save his hometown; an economic hitman from the United States who attempted to legitimize the exploitation of the developing countries; and a cybornetic female waste worker who fought for her rights to live. This project showcases that the concept of home can be restored, altered, and manipulated by technologies such as XR, AI, cognitive science, and synthesized biology. This eventually leads us to a more holistic, ambiguous, and complicated post-human status of nostalgia.
The re-imagination of nostalgia in Waste Tide resonates with the movements in the global south. The novel maintains a focus against the waste transportation from the developed countries. Arguably, science fiction becomes one of the most powerful tools to shape a consensus for a more sustainable home for humankind.