English 166

Special Topics: Speculative Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2018 Jones, Donna V.
Lectures MW 1-2 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 10-11; sec. 102: F 1-2) Lectures: 2 Le Conte; disc. secs. in different locations


This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the thematics and topoi of the new life sciences—representation of cloning, ecological dystopias, hybrid life-forms, genetic engineering dystopias. While science is the thematic point of departure of speculative fiction, the concerns of this course will be the literary. How does literature's encounter with the projected realities of the new biology revise our conceptions of the subject? Could there be a Leopold Bloom of the genetically engineered, a subject whose interior voice is the free-flowing expression of experience? Behind the endless removes of social, material, and technological mediation lies the construction of a flesh and blood body, separtated from itself through the workings of consciousness. If indeed the post/modern subject requires a psychic space shaped by the authenticity of "being," a consciousness deeply rooted in the human experience, then how do we represent that being whose point of origin is the artificial, the inauthentic? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this course. You may of course bring others.

Texts may include:  Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Hoffman, E. T. A.: The Sandman; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Strugatsky, Arkady and Boris: Roadside Picnic; Wells, H. G.: The Island of Doctor Moreau; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One.

Discussion Sections

601 Tomasula y Garcia, Alba
F 10-11 305 Wheeler
602 Tomasula y Garcia, Alba
F 1-2 124 Wheeler

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