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Science and Literature

ENGL 1509.401
crosslisted as: STSC 1101
MW 5:15-6:44pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector III: Arts & Letters of the College's General Education Curriculum

 Science fiction has become the mythology of modern technological civilization, providing vivid means for imagining (and proclaiming) the shape of things to come. This interdisciplinary seminar will consider SF in multiple manifestations -- literature, film and TV shows, visual art and architecture. We will debate how the genre has shaped ideas about scientific knowledge, the position of humans in the universe, and our possible futures by examining themes including time travel, robots and androids, alien encounters, extraterrestrial journeys, and the nature of intelligent life. This seminar will consider SF from the perspective of the history of science and technology: critically and comparatively, with a primary focus on social and cultural contexts in addition to literary aspects.