L230 2074 KILGORE
Introduction to Science Fiction

9:30a-10:45a TR (30) 3 cr.

TOPIC: FINDING NEW WORLDS: COMPLEXITY AND CONTRADICTION IN AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION

Over the eighty years of its development American science fiction (sf) has become a rich body of texts bridging the cultural divide between literature and science, and exploring the connections between individual power and public destiny. The principle aim of this course will be to examine sf as a literature which considers the future from the vantage of particular historical moments and broad political concerns. We will attend to how the genre links developments in science and technology with ongoing concerns regarding the conflicts that characterize American society, particularly those around race, gender, and the environment. We will investigate how the genre's conventions address terrestrial limitations and problems through tropes such as time and space travel, alien contact, utopian extrapolation, and human evolution. Authors will include Delany, Heinlein, Butler, Le Guin, K.M. Robinson and others.

This course requires two short papers (3-5 typewritten pages, double- spaced), two exams, one team project, active and informed classroom participation and attendance.