SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English is an international peer-reviewed journal founded in 1980. It publishes scholarly articles, interviews, reviews, and other valuable and lively interventions.

Serving solely as an open access electronic journal from 2016, SARE aims to be a key critical forum for original research and fresh conversations from all over the world on the literatures, languages, and cultures of Southeast, South, and East Asia. It particularly welcomes theoretically-informed articles on the literary and other cultural productions of these regions.

SARE has been committed from its inception to featuring new or unpublished poems and short fiction.  





                                        EXTENDED DEADLINE


Vol. 57, No. 1, July 2020

Guest Editors: Susan Philip and Surinderpal Kaur


“Re-visions and Re-imaginations in Asian Speculative Fiction”

Speculative fiction of all kinds has long been seen as something of a niche market, the purview of nerds and small fandom communities. More recently, however, there has been an upsurge of interest in the genre, as well as an increase in the number of subgenres within speculative fiction. Apart from the more traditional epic fantasy, sci-fi and horror, we now see dystopia, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, zombies, steampunk, magic realism, gothic, horror and so on as subgenres within this growing field of research and academic interest.

Part of this increasing popularity and diversity has to do with society’s fears, hopes, desires, dreams, nightmares. As Bruce Sterling points out, “A genre arises out of some deeper social need; a genre is not some independent floating construct” (2011). Much as these works represent vast leaps of the imagination and, often, wholesale invention, they are grounded in some “deeper social need”, and are therefore in some way expressive of the conditions of society. This idea is emphasized by Margaret Atwood, who contends that her own speculative fiction “invents nothing we haven’t already invented or started to invent” (2005).

Works of speculative fiction address or embody questions that affect us, even when dressed up in the seemingly medieval garb of epic fantasy, or the futuristic space stations of science fiction. Because speculative fiction is not tied to the strict demands of realism, it enables us to play with reality in exciting ways. It may help us to examine pressing and urgent questions, while allowing for critical distance, or to explore and expand our mythologies, dreams and legends, or to highlight and focus on that which is not dominant or mainstream.

In line with the potential of speculative fiction to shine a light on the margins, this special issue will focus on speculative fiction with a strong Asian connection. It could be written by Asian authors, be set in Asia, make use of Asian mythologies, feature Asian lead characters. The sub-genres to be covered include (but are not limited to) fantasy, science fiction, horror, gothic, dystopia, steampunk, and magic realism.

We invite papers that explore the interweavings of alternative and, even, radical possibilities of imagined futures as well as the re-imagination of current socio-political metanarratives. We also invite short fiction or poetry, as well as reviews of Asian speculative fiction.

 Some of the issues that could be explored are speculative re-visionings of:

  • Language
  • Race
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Technologizing Asianness/Orientalism/Race
  • The Asian body and (dis)ability
  • Belonging and marginality
  • Nostalgia
  • Migration
  • Environment
  • Power
  • Medicine
  • Justice
  • History
  • War

This special issue will be guest edited by Susan Philip ( and  Surinderpal Kaur ( Abstracts (maximum 200 words) with a short bio (of up to 50 words) are to be sent to The Editor, SARE at (with a copy to the Guest Editors at and Our call for abstracts has been extended to 30 November 2019.

Decision notifications will be sent from 1-5 December 2019. 

The deadline for the submission of full papers (6000-7000 words) is 15 March 2020. Submissions should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the “Make a Submission” portal at 

Further submission guidelines can be found on our website.

Publication date: July 2020

About our Guest Editors: 

SUSAN PHILIP is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Her main area of interest is Malaysian English-language theatre. She has several publications in this field, in journals such as the Asian Theatre Journal, World Literature Written in English, Australasian Drama Studies and Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Her research interests have expanded to include crime fiction, digital media, and community theatre, as well as ideas of culture and heritage. She has published on digital media in Asiatic, and on community theatre in Kajian Malaysia, and on crime fiction in SARE and International Journal of Indonesian Studies.

SURINDERPAL KAUR is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at Universiti Malaya. Her research interests are in gender, sexuality and language, political discourse, social media communication, and migrant issues.


If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to The Editor, SARE at or





Editorial: "Revisionings"

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Guest Editor's Introduction: "Re-Visioning Love"

Wernmei Yong Ade, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 



Unearthing Love on the Central Australian Frontier

Linda Wells, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia 


Romantic Love: Mechanism for Feminist Empowerment or Orientalist Legacy?

Min Joo Lee,  University of California-Los Angeles, USA 


Love as a Contact Zone: Highland-Lowland Conflict and Negotiation in Three Philippine Cultural Texts 

Rachel P. Pitlongay, University of the Philippines-Baguio, the Philippines 


Love and Desire in Coetzee’s Disgrace and Waiting for the Barbarians: A Levinasian Approach 

Mahdi Teimouri, Khayyam University, Mashhad, Iran 


Love in Transit: The Plasticity of Love in Mohsin Ahmad's Exit West and Sharon Bala's The Boat People 

Abhisek Ghosal,  Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India


"Somewhere between Glory and a Sad Ending”: Love and Identity Politics in Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Da Ye Kim, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, New York, USA


Jung Chang's Wild Swans: Love as a Political Concept

Nicholas O. Pagan, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Ashik Basti: My Saz Wails for My Beloved

Shahla Naghiyeva, Azerbaijan University of Languages, Baku, Azerbaijan

Amin AmirdabbaghianIslamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Krishnavanie Shunmugam, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Shattered Smile

Shackled Stranger in the Night

Anitha Devi Pillai, National Institute of Education, Singapore


Book Reviews

Terence Chong (ed.) The State and the Arts in Singapore: Policies and Institutions 

 Jiaying Sim, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Singapore


Koh Tai Ann, Chen Zhirui, Hadijah Rahmat and Arun Mahizhnan, Singapore Chronicles: Literature 

Geraldine Tan Le Ting, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore





Women Doing Malayness in Brunei Darussalam

Hannah Ho Ming Yit, University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam



The Constructiveness and Dialogic Energy of the "Postcolonial Imagination": In Conversation with Bill Ashcroft 

Shalini Nadaswaran, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Book Reviews

Bernice Chauly, Incantations/Incarcerations

Kok Su Mei, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 


Hanna Alkaf, The Weight of Our Sky

Sharifah Aishah Osman, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 


Rajat Chaudhuri and Zafar Anjum (eds), The Best Asian Speculative Fiction 2018

Agnes S. K. Yeow,  Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Notes on Contributors 


(Cover design by Juno Ooi)

Published: 2019-12-16

Editorial: “Revisionings”

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel


Ashik Basti: My Saz Wails for My Beloved

Shahla Naghiyeva, Amin Amirdabbaghian, Krishnavanie Shunmugam


Hanna Alkaf, The Weight of Our Sky

Sharifah Aishah Osman



Southeast Asian Review of English


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ISSN 0127-046X | Affiliated with the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

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