Collins Living Learning Center | Fear of an Atomic Planet
L310 | 30785 | Keelan Diana


In 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. The ensuing era, which was
known as the “atomic age,” saw a proliferation of stories, both in print and on film, that
display a grim fascination with nuclear war—and thus, a fascination with the apocalypse, the
end of the world—coupled with a passionate belief in the power of modern science to shape
a better future. In this course, we will investigate the dualities of this era (and explore its
connections with our own) by watching classic science fiction films and reading texts ranging
from popular “hard” science fiction stories to modern tales of "zombie wars” and radiation
mutants. With a little luck, we will learn to ask difficult questions about the meaning and
practice of history, and to recognize the many ways in which our lives continue to be shaped
by the cold war.