English R1B

Reading & Composition: T.B.A.

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2008 Tiffany Tsao
MWF 11-12 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Flatland (Edwin A. Abbott); The Time Machine (H.G. Wells); The Island of Dr. Moreau (H.G. Wells); Brave, New World (Aldous Huxley); Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro); Course Reader


"The reader of science fiction often finds him or herself venturing into a world where the rules of the reader�s reality simply don�t apply: lands inhabited by alien species and races, existing in prehistoric or futuristic eras; societies governed by strange laws, ruled by strange technologies, guided by strange principles; ways of life which are all too familiar�but with a slightly different twist.

Yet, despite being alien, unreal, and sometimes downright creepy, such stories often provide a fresh perspective on reality as we know it, problematizing and questioning our ethical codes, modes of thought, political and economic systems, and social structures. In this class, we�ll undertake an exploration of some of these different worlds. We�ll start out in the two-dimensional reality of Abbott�s Flatland, jump into The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and then head to The Island of Dr. Moreau inhabited by half-human, half-animal creatures. From there, we�ll move on to the chilling visions of future British society depicted in Huxley�s Brave New World and Ishiguro�s Never Let Me Go.

We will be tackling the issues raised by these works via discussion, analytical reading, and writing and research. As a means of honing research skills, we will be investigating the historical context in which these works were written. Students will be required to write three essays, respectively, 2-3 pages, 6-7 pages, and 8-10 pages in length. The last two essays will each undergo a substantial amount of revision (including peer-revision), and the 8-10 page writing assignment will be a research paper. "

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