South of the Future

Marketing Care and Speculating Life in South Asia and the Americas

Edited by Anindita Banerjee & Debra A. Castillo

Subjects: Women's Studies, Gender Studies, India And South Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Science And Technology
Series: SUNY series, Praxis: Theory in Action
Paperback : 9781438481067, 229 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438481074, 229 pages, December 2020

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Table of contents


Introduction: Life and Care from South of the Future
Anindita Banerjee and Debra A. Castillo

1. From Intercountry Adoption in Guatemala to Commercial Global Surrogacy in Gujarat and Beyond: Lessons Learned from Research and Human Rights
Karen Smith Rotabi

2. On Cruelty and Care: Motherhood and the Crisis of Futurity
Kumkum Sangari

3. Promissory Futures: Medicine and Markets in Speculative Fiction
Sherryl Vint

4. The Surrogacy Public Interest Litigation in the Indian Supreme Court: Marginalizing the Marginalized
Sital Kalantry

5. Wet Nurses and Migrant Nanas in Mexico's Imaginary Landscape
Emily C. Vázquez Enríquez

6. Structures of Affect in Transactions of Care: From Surrogacy Discourses of the Womb to Mahasweta Devi's "Breast-Giver"
Kavita Panjabi

7. Artificial Bodies: The Politics of the Posthuman in Argentine Science Fiction Novels
Silvia G. Kurlat Ares

8. Unbearable Futures: The Science/Fiction of Care Markets in the Global South
Anindita Banerjee and Debra A. Castillo



Unique interdisciplinary analysis of gendered and racialized economies of care in South Asia and the Americas.


South Asia and Latin America represent two epicenters of migrant care work and the globalized reproductive market. Yet scholars and the media continue to examine them in geographical and conceptual isolation. South of the Future closes both these gaps. It investigates nannying, elder care, domestic work, and other forms of migrant labor in the Americas together with the emerging "Wild West" of biotechnology and surrogacy in the Indian subcontinent. The volume is profoundly interdisciplinary and includes both prominent and emerging scholars from a wide variety of fields, including anthropology, law, literary and cultural studies, science and technology studies, and social policy. These contributors speak to the dynamic, continually changing facets of the nexus of care and value across these two key regions of the global south. By mobilizing specific locations and techno-economics and putting them into dialogue with one another, South of the Future rematerializes the gendered, racialized bodies that are far too often rendered invisible in structural analyses of the global south, or else are confined to particular geo- and biopolitical paradigms of emerging markets. Instead, these bodies occupy the center of a global, highly financialized economy of creating and sustaining life.

Anindita Banerjee is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and chair of the humanities concentration in the Environment and Sustainability Program at Cornell University. Her most recent book is Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East. Debra A. Castillo is Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Emerson Hinchliff Professor of Hispanic Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Director of the Latina/o Studies Program at Cornell University. She is the author or editor of several books, including Redreaming America: Toward a Bilingual American Culture, also published by SUNY Press.


"While there have been studies on the individual countries featured in the book, there are no previous studies that bridge the gaps between South Asia and the Americas in terms of speculative fiction or in terms of care policy. The comparative aspect for these regions is new, and the introduction of chapters dealing with different kinds of speculative futures is a welcome addition. " — Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, University of Oslo

"This is a groundbreaking volume for several reasons. The interdisciplinary collection of social sciences and humanities creates a compelling argument for understanding how literary and anthropological studies can enrich each other. I applaud how it puts the various regions of the global south into productive conversation. " — J. Andrew Brown, Washington University in St. Louis