Steampunk Origins Annotated Bibliography

Hoppe, Kelly and Josh Wilson. “Steampunk Collaboration.” Library Media Connection

Aug/Sep. 2012: 24-26. EBSCO. Web. 19 March 2015.

Hoppe and Wilson discuss the use of Steampunk to garner student interest in reading at their local library in Texas. The authors and library coordinators created an event called the Steampumpkin ball, which ended up being successful. Not only was the dance a hit, but the activities before the event were popular as well. A local costume artist helped the students make their neo-Victorian costumes, and the coordinators displayed steampunk art as well as a slideshow from the Museum of the History of Science. Although this article is not helpful for Steampunk origins research, it does demonstrate that Steampunk has become a cultural phenomenon, and the aesthetic element can be used to create student interest in reading and art.

Defining Steampunk (From Cassie and Katie)

These academic sources focus on various aspects of steampunk, including each author’s own definition of “steampunk.”

Bowser, Rachel A., and Brian Croxall. “Introduction: Industrial Evolution.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010): 1-45. Print.

“Steampunk seems precisely to illustrate, and perhaps even perform, a kind of cultural memory work, wherein our projections and fantasies about the Victorian era meet the tropes and techniques of science fiction, to produce a genre that revels in anachronism while exposing history’s overlapping layers.”

Forlini, Stefania. “Technology and Morality: The Stuff of Steampunk.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010): 72-98. Print.

“First and foremost, steampunk is about things – especially technological things – and our relationships to them. As a sub-genre of science fiction, it explores the difference an object can make; it imagines alternative Victorian pasts in which technological advances (such as those imagined by H.G. Wells and Jules Verne) radically alter the course of history and open up possible future techno-cultural worlds.”

Jagoda, Patrick. “Clacking Control Societies: Steampunk, History, and the Difference Engine of Escape.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010): 46-71. Print.

“Steampunk, which emerged as a fictional subgenre in the 1980s, is characterised by alternative histories that frequently explore the rise of new technologies in Victorian England and throughout its global empire.”

Jones, Jason B. “Betrayed by Time: Steampunk & the Neo-Victorian in Alan Moore’s Lost Girls and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010): 99-126. Print.

“The very name steampunk suggests a playful will-to-anachronism – steam is obsolete, whereas punk, certainly at the time of the term’s coinage, resonated as deliberately modern and contemporary. The genre depends on a kind of double consciousness, in which we recognise the Victorian period as simultaneously other to and identical with our contemporary moment.”

Perschon, Mike. “Steam Wars.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010): 127-166. Print.

“[…] defining steampunk unilaterally is challenged by what aspect of steampunk culture one is trying to define: the literature, the fashion, the bricolage artworks, or the politics? I suggest that rather than defining any of these single expressions, it is more useful to consider steampunk as an array of visual markers which, when combined, constitute the look popularly understood as steampunk.”

Rose, Margaret. “Extraordinary Pasts: Steampunk as a Mode of Historical Representation.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 20.3 (2009): 319-333. Print.

“[…] steampunk is a fiction that places a premium on minutely accurate historical detail, within flamboyantly wrong imagined pasts, in order to explore the ways in which the conventional historical sensibility sometimes gets it wrong.”

Yaszek, Lisa. “Democratising the Past to Improve the Future: An Interview with Steampunk Godfather Paul Di Filippo.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010): 189-195. Print.

“At its best, steampunk fiction promotes understanding of the roots of our current global scene, and offers lateral insights as to how we could improve retroactively on some of the choices we made, all unknowing, in the path of technological development.”

More Academic Peer-Reviewed Steampunk Sources (by Cassie)

Taken from:

Blaylock, James P. “James P. Blaylock: Impractical Machines.” Locus 691 (64.4, April 2010): 6, 57-58.

Bullen, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth Parsons. “Dystopian Visions of Global Capitalism: Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines and M.T. Anderson’s Feed.”Children’s Literature in Education. 38.2 (2007): 127-139. 

Fast, John. “Machinery of Blood: Melville’s ‘The Bell Tower’ as Ambiguous Steampunk Horror.” New York Review of Science Fiction 20.1 [229] (2007): 18.

Gamble, Sarah. ““You cannot impersonate what you are”: Questions of Authenticity in the Neo-Victorian Novel.” LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory20.1/2 (2009): 126-140.

Gordon, Joan. “Hybridity, Heterotopia, and Mateship in China Miéville’s Perdido street Station.” Science Fiction Studies 30.3 (2003): 456-476.

Hansen, Adam. “Exhibiting Vagrancy, 1851: Victorian London and the ‘Vagabond Savage’.” A Mighty Mass of Brick and Stone: Victorian and Edwardian Represenations of London. Lawrence Phillips, ed. New York: Rodopi, (2007): 61-84.

Hantke, Steffen. “Difference Engines and Other Infernal Devices: History According to Steampunk.” Extrapolation (Kent State University Press) 40.3 (1999): 244-254.

Heilmann, Ann. “Doing It With Mirrors: Neo-Victorian Metatextual Magic inAffinity, The Prestige and The Illusionist.” Neo-Victorian Studies 2:2 (Winter 2009/10): 18-42.

Hendrix, Howard. “Verne among the Punks, Or “It’s Not Just a Victorian Clockwork.” Verniana. 2 (2009) 

Kelleghan, Fiona. “Interview with Tim Powers.” Science Fiction Studies 25.1 (1998): 7-28.

Kendrick, Christopher. “Monster Realism and Uneven Development in China Miéville’s The Scar.” Extrapolation (University of Texas at Brownsville) 50.2 (2009): 258-275.

Latham, Rob. “Our Jaded Tomorrows.” Science Fiction Studies 36.2 (2009): 339-349.

Llewellyn, Mark. “Neo-Victorianism: On the Ethics and Aesthetics of Appropriation.” LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 27-44.

Munford, Rebecca, and Paul Young. “Introduction: Engaging the Victorians.”LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 1-11.

Nevins, Jess. “The Nineteenth Century Roots of Steampunk.” New York Review of Science Fiction 21.5 [245] (2009): 1.

Onion, Rebecca. “Reclaiming the Machine: An Introductory Look at Steampunk in Everyday Practice.”  Neo-Victorian Studies 1:1 (2008): 138-163.

Partington, Gill. “Friedrich Kittler’s “Aufschreibsystem..” Science Fiction Studies 33.1 (2006): 53-67.

Perschon, Mike. “Finding Nemo: Verne’s Antihero as Original Steampunk.”Verniana. 2 (2010).

Pike, David L. “Afterimages of the Victorian City.” Journal of Victorian Culture15.2 (2010): 254-267.

Quigley, Marian. “a Future Victorian Adventure: the Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello.” Screen Education 54 (2009): 125-129.

Rose, Margaret. “Extraordinary Pasts: Steampunk as a Mode of Historical Representation.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 20.3 (2009): 319-333.  

Sakamoto, Michaela. “The Transcendent Steam Engine: Industry, Nostalgia, and the Romance of Steampunk.” The Image of Technology. 124-131. Pueblo, CO: Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado State University-Pueblo, 2009.

Voigts-Virchow, Eckart. “In-yer-Victorian-face: A Subcultural Hermeneutics of Neo-Victorianism.” LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 108-125.


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