About This Course
This course is grounded in the historical/critical reading of written science fiction and fantasy texts through a series of classic tropes (related to bodies and spaces) that align with key literary/historical periods.
The course begins with a discussion of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and concludes with some of the recent trends in speculative fiction. Readings, discussions, and lectures introduce students to key concepts (such as the other, the uncanny, and the cyborg) and theoretical approaches necessary to think critically about our texts. Through a series of written assignments, the course also introduces students to the definitions of relevant literary devices and narrative elements (e.g., genre, setting, characterization, intertextuality), as well as to the critical practice of close reading. Students' group projects on film/television emphasize related critical concepts and interpretative practices.
Sample textbook: Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. (Third Norton Critical Edition; ed. Donald J. Gray)
Sample course topics: Fairies and other forest dwellers, aliens, ships and the cosmos, mediators, the metropolis, cyborgs, soldiers and the battlefield, and wizarding school.