Reading the chapter Imperial Imaginaries: Employing Science Fiction to Talk About Geopolitics (Saunders, 2015) gave new insights by addressing societal and cultural issues through the use science fiction.
Saunders (2015) uses examples of popular franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek to address concepts such as imperialism and the differing perspectives of colonialists verses nations and people groups that have been subjugated or negatively affected by them. The most appealing part of this is that a teacher or instructor can use something seen as so main stream, if not highly popular, to open up discussions on these geopolitical topics.
Being a music teacher in a multicultural community, I am finding more and more that I need to address musical styles and history in a more broad context than the study of traditional Euro-centric musicians and composers that I studied in my own instruction. At times, finding accurate sources of information on diverse cultures and musical styles can be difficult, especially when available resources have the filter of western culture and ideals innately written into the perspective.
I find it encouraging that I can examine music from main stream films like these with my students, discuss story lines and plot in relation to sound track decisions and then bring the discussion back around to the hidden perspectives on the reality of our geopolitics or even aspects of social justice. These discussions could result in further investigation and discussion to reach further afield to examine more non-Western nations and investigate their cultural story and musical heritage.
Due to the facts that I am not a geopolitical expert, nor have I studied international relations in depth, I do wonder if Saunders or others well versed in these topics might take one further step in their writings to educators to suggest sources of information on these important issues that present global issues in a more critical, less biased perspective? This would be a beneficial next step for educators who may not have the background, and who would like further instruction to enable them to join this alliance of critical instruction through media study.
Saunders, R.A. (2015). Imperial Imaginaries: Employing science fiction to talk about geopolitics. In F. Caso & C. Hamilton (Eds.), Popular Culture and World Politics: theories, methods, pedagogies (pp. 149-159). Bristol, UK: E-International Relations Publishing