BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Summer 2023

Date of Submission



Nudrat Kamal, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences


Irum Iqbal Hussain, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


“Hopepunk”, originally coined by Alexandra Rowland in 2017, emerged as a speculative fiction genre framing hope as a political tool for resistance against dominant hierarchical systems. Such resistance only gains power and traction at the “margins” – an unstable, ideological, and material space of “Otherness”. Taking from scholarship on postcolonial theory, feminism, television, and affect studies, I speculate a “hopepunk affect”, emerging as a fierce, subversive “potentiality” at the margins, resisting oppressive dominant hierarchies by sparking a determinedly optimistic imagination in the present for alternative worlds beyond such structures. Outside of its origins in genre, I explore the presence of “hopepunk affect” within contemporary South Asian diasporic television. Nida Manzoor’s sitcom, We Are Lady Parts (2021), and Bisha K. Ali’s Marvel miniseries, Ms Marvel (2022), both offer compelling, nuanced and powerful representations of South Asian diasporic Muslim women. In my analysis, I engage with moments in the TV shows that, in their cinematography, narratives, and techniques of representation, hold hopepunk affective intensities. In doing so, I identify certain largely necessary forces in the circulation of hopepunk affect: 1) the South Asian diasporic woman “Other” as an agent at the margins; 2) South Asian “rememory” – primarily through poetry, music, art, and intimate, personal histories; and 3) the “collective” as a mobilizing force – bonds of community, friendship, and “kinship” that shake time and space. Lastly, I speculate that an immersive, overwhelming presence of these forces showcases a potential in radical fictional media to embody “hopepunk worlds”.



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