As the twentieth century drew to a close, a literary sub-genre known as steampunk developed into a movement and phenomenon that has since gained mass-cultural significance. Through fashion, art, crafts, music and more, steampunk artists, writers and ‘makers’ have constructed countless alternative histories where the technological developments of the nineteenth century veer wildly off their ‘proper’ course. These works offer a nostalgic vision of a Victorian past where piston-powered and steam-driven devices are capable of utterly fantastic and anachronistic effects. In this article, I will consider the role that cinema has played in popularizing the movement’s retro-futuristic romanticism for a bygone age of industry: reimagining the nineteenth-century through twenty-first-century advances. By evaluating the clockwork fetishisms of these millennial productions, I shall argue that steampunk uses its industrial histories as a means to interact with the technological dependencies of contemporary life, and reflect the intense process of digitization that film itself is undergoing.
|Title of host publication||Golden Epochs and Dark Ages|
|Subtitle of host publication||Perspectives on the Past|
|Editors||Anna Antonowicz, Tomasz Niedokos|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jan 2017|
|Name||Studies in Literature and Culture|