English | Science Fiction
L230 | 2059 | Kilgore

L230 2059 KILGORE
Science Fiction

11:15a-12:30p TR (30) 3 CR.

TOPIC:  “Finding New Worlds:  Complexity and Contraction in American
Science Fiction”

Over the eighty years of its development American science fiction 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.  Popular and serious by turns,
science fiction is also a literature that represents the tremendous
acceleration of technological invention and heralds the emergence of
new identities and social orders.  In this course 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.  And we will consider the new modes of expression
developed by some of the genre’s writers.  Authors will include
Blish, Ballard, Heinlein, Le Guin, and Aldiss.

This course requires two short papers (3-5 typewritten pages, double-
spaced), two exams, one team project, active and informed classroom
participation and attendance.  These factors will be considered in
determining the final grade for the course.