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Globalization and Science Fiction

ENGL 275.601
crosslisted as: COML 113
Saturday 9-12:00 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

Globalization poses a challenge to our capacity to create what the theorist Frederic Jameson has termed a “cognitive map” of the world we live in. In particular, globalization poses problems to the study of society through literature, a discipline that has traditionally been segregated by nation. In this class, we will use the imaginative capacities of science fiction to think about ways to theorize a global world. By reading novels from authors around the world we will both escape some of the constraints of literary study based in a national context, while also considering what power dynamics remain in play in a study of world literature that uses only English-language texts. From bio-terrorism in Bangkok, to alternate histories of our world, to radically fluid genders and desires in the distant future, the novels in this class provide a multitude of ways to re-think the global and beyond.