||TTh 12:30-2||210 Dwinelle||
This course aims to increase awareness of a widespread intellectual trend?the popularity of alternate history in numerous fields?while also learning to discern its variations across the cultural landscape. We will intensively explore the logic, formal traits, and varieties of alternate-history writing as it has been practiced over the last seventy years by avant-garde, mainstream, and science fiction writers, as well as by amateur and professional historians. One of our tasks will be to distinguish between ?counterfactual? history and outright fiction, discovering the inherent differences between their narrative forms as well as examples of merged form. We will also pursue alternate history?s links to: theoretical speculations in physics, political movements for redress, innovations in statistical analysis, military training, legal proceedings, historical regret, digital technology, and literary experimentation.