In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—discuss the writing of race and ethnicity in fantasy and sci-fi stories.
What we talked about
- How race and ethnicity is done in fiction and TV series that are not grounded in real-life human history
- What gets lost and is added in translation when novels are turned into films or TV series
- How to not let yourself be limited by the world we know when building a world of your own
- That it’s never to late to start adding more diverse characters to your world, or to make your existing cast more diverse
The fiction and TV series we discussed in particular during this episode are: Babylon 5; Star Trek; Game of Thrones; The Witcher; and Shadow and Bone.
(Re)sources mentioned on the show
- Daenarys as the white savior of the Unsullied: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/game-of-thrones-critique-white-savior
- “What Star Trek Taught Us About Racial Equality” by Mallory Joy: https://medium.com/the-ascent/what-star-trek-taught-us-about-racial-equality-acfac97fc151
- “The Next Frontier: Tracing African-American ‘Star Trek’ Characters” by Ian Freeman: https://theurbandaily.com/2991101/the-next-frontier-chronicling-american-appearances-on-star-trek/
- “Racial Issues and Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine” by J. Emmett Winn: https://openjournals.uwaterloo.ca/index.php/kinema/article/view/1046/1182
- “In Middle Earth, Must All Hobbits Be White?” by John Hudson: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/11/in-middle-earth-must-all-hobbits-be-white/343239/
- “‘The Witcher’ Netflix Writer Speaks Out On Racial Diversity Concerns” by Tyler Fischer: https://comicbook.com/gaming/news/the-witcher-netflix-racial-diversity/
- “Shadow and Bone author had a goal for the Netflix show: fixt the diversity issues” by Petrana Radulovic: https://www.polygon.com/tv/22371843/shadow-and-bone-casting-diversity-alina-leigh-bardugo
- M.C.A. Hogarth’s novel Mindtouch: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19455735-mindtouch
- Ginn Hale’s novel Lord of the White Hell: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8017244-lord-of-the-white-hell-book-1
- Tamora Pierce’s website: http://www.tamora-pierce.net/
- Mariëlle’s 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal
This week’s episode page can be found here: https://representationmatters.art/2022/01/20/s2e2/
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