Summer 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course explores questions of body and identity in science fiction and fantasy literature as it has developed over the past century. We will read texts that feature robots, cyborgs, aliens, fantastical creatures, and humans who have been modified with all manner of mechanical and animal additions.
Science fiction and fantasy stories are uniquely situated for exploring the nature of corporeal embodiment, because they push the human form beyond the limits of reality and incorporate non-human entities. We will critically examine the reasons why an author, or even a literary zeitgeist, chooses to use a particular sort of entity when and as they did.
We will read novels and short stories, watch films, and even analyze the narrative of a role playing game.
The Caves of Steel. Isaac Asimov (1954)
Neuromancer. William Gibson (1984)
Dawn. Octavia Butler (1987)
Perdido Street Station. China Mieville (2003)
Accelerando (Selections). Charles Stross (2005) Available online through Creative Commons
Short Stories (Available via online reserves)
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Assignments will include short reading response papers, quizzes, and an optional creative project.