Editor’s Note

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Contemporary issues manifest in narratives, driving them to utopian or dystopian conclusions. Barnita Bagchi describes utopia as an imaginative creation of a possible world, while understanding “the fictiveness and the perpetual state of incompleteness that such worlds enshrine.” The state of the world has never been described as utopian, but many might attribute dystopian to the current sense of warped truth and turn from empathy perpetuated in the social consciousness. A lack of truth is ironic, because the shift in politics has largely resulted from the idea of “narrative as truth.”

Storytelling and iconography play a large part in how humans perceive the world around them, particularly narratives of any kind. Narratives can become a tool for positive and negative purposes. While several of the world’s politicians utilize them for manipulation, narratives can also illicit positive change. The researchers featured in this volume demonstrate how imagery, difference, and interpretation can challenge the current scholarly narrative to include greater perspective.

Variance leads to innovation. Difference encourages greatness. Without knowledge of varied perspectives, empathy is simple to dismiss. What is needed is an expansion of empathy, and the knowledge that difference isn’t synonymous with dangerous.