English 180Z

Science Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Jones, Donna V.
MWF 12-1 note new location: 212 Wheeler

Book List

Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: (the inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049); Ghosh, Amitov: The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Jemisin, N. K.: The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth); LaValle, Victor: The Ballad of Black Tom; Saadawi, Ahmed: Frankenstein in Baghdad; Wells, H. G.: The Island of Doctor Moreau


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 subjecct? 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, separated 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.

Please note the revised book list (as of October 8).

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