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JRS Robots in Film and Literature

ENGL 200.303
MW 5-6:30
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Junior Research Seminar Requirement of the Standard Major

Robots in literature and film have long articulated human dreams for—and anxieties about—the future. In our lives, however, artificial intelligence is daily becoming an integral part of reality. This course is meant to help us understand (1) how perceptions and representations of robots have changed over time, and (2) how these changes correspond to different moments in history. We will also be paying attention to hyper-contemporary debates about robots as they unfold, treating articles published in newspapers, blogs, and popular science periodicals as primary texts to see how our literary modes of reading are applicable beyond cultural studies.  Authors may include Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Ursula Le Guin. Films and TV may include Westworld (2016-2017), Ex Machina (2014), Her (2013), Blade Runner (1982), and Metropolis (1927). Work for this Junior Research Seminar will include short writing assignments meant to introduce students to the various research methods that undergird our field of literary and cultural studies, culminating in a 15-page final research project. Major requirements: Fulfills Sector 6 and JRS