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‘Am I the only one here who sees the alien’: Science in Invader ZIM

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Abstract:

Science Fiction (SF) articulates many of the central issues faced in culture and society and none greater than the role, capacities and implications of scientific knowledge. As a genre it displays a heightened capacity to engage in philosophical debates giving salient insights. Contemporary scientific knowledge or 'mainstream science' provides the critical grounding on which the extraordinary worlds of SF are naturalized. However, complete adherence to known facts would render SF incapable of facilitating the speculative dimensions in which it revels. To counter-balance this, marginal science is often engaged as a means to extend the known and explore new possibilities whilst maintaining a noticeable link to scientific rationality. Invader ZIM (Nicktoon Productions 2001-2003, 2006), an animated television (TV) series about an alien's efforts to conquer Earth and the attempts of a young paranormal enthusiast to stop him, provides a way to articulate this positioning of science.

Keywords: Invader ZIM; Jhonen Vasquez; SFTV; Science Fiction; knowledge; science

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ajpc.2.2.239_1

Affiliations: University Of Queensland

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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