Communication and Culture | Current Topics in Communication and Culture (Topic: Not of this World—The Extraterrestrial and U.S. Culture)
C334 | 29260 | Harrison, M.

TuTh, 11:15 AM-12:30 PM, C2 203

Instructor: Mark Harrison
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 271
Phone: 855-7238

This course examines historical and contemporary “appearances” of
the extraterrestrial—here understood in the broader sense of “not of
this world” –on the U.S. cultural scene.  Spiritualism (the religion
and science of communicating with the dead), space brother religions
(religious/political cults built around alleged contact with the
dead and/or space aliens), flying saucer/UFO organizations and alien
abduction will function as primary points of interest.  Through
readings, discussion and research, students will engage a series of
linked inquiries: What are the connections between belief in the
extraterrestrial and utopian politics?  How does belief in the
extraterrestrial strive to reconcile science and religion?  What
role does gender play in the various appearances of the
extraterrestrial discussed?  What role does the body play?   These
questions, and others, will serve to focus our semester-long inquiry
into the strange career of the extraterrestrial in U.S. culture.