English | Introduction to Science Fiction
L230 | 12499 | DeWitt Kilgore
L230 12499 INTRODUCTION TO SCIENCE FICTION
2:30p-3:20p MWF (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.
TOPIC: “Finding New Worlds: The Evolution of American Science
Over the eighty years of its development American science fiction
(SF) has become a rich body of texts dramatizing the interaction of
science, technology and society, exploring the connection between
physical knowledge, private aspiration and public destiny. The
principle aim of this course will be to examine SF as a genre that
comments on our present by imagining future alternatives. We will
attend to how the genre links developments in science and technology
with ongoing social concerns regarding race, gender and our desire
to improve humankind. We will explore how the genre's conventions
address earthly fears and hopes through themes such as space travel,
alien contact, robotics, technological utopianism, and human
evolution. Authors will likely include James Blish, Robert A.
Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, H. G Wells, and Octavia E. Butler. Critical
readings will supplement our reading, thinking, writing and
This course requires two papers (3-5 typewritten pages, double-
spaced), two exams, one research team project, active and informed
classroom participation and attendance.