English R1B

Reading and Composition: Technophobia

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Fall 2017 Barbour, Andrew John
TTh 8-9:30 211 Dwinelle Reading and Composition

Book List

Butler, Samuel: Erewhon; Powers, Richard: Galatea 2.2; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Čapek, Karel: R.U.R.

Other Readings and Media

A course reader with selections from Coleridge, Hoffman, Kleist, affect theory, and STS


Science fiction often critically investigates how technology affects human drives and desires. Insofar as thought experiments with non-human forms of intelligence and artificial life are major tropes of the genre, representations of computers and robots in film and literature often make us think critically about the very qualities that come to define the human, and what falls outside or threatens the anthropomorphic. How does technology probe the precarity and vulnerability of what we take to be distinctively human qualities and emotions? How do technological narratives hold up a speculative mirror (black or otherwise) to what we take to divide the human from the non-human world? Over the semester, we’ll read major technological narratives alongside contemporary scholarship in affect theory and science and technology studies. You’ll also refine your techniques for innovative writing and research in the humanities and beyond.

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