Intro to Lit: Genre

Course Description

In this course we will examine a selection of science fiction short stories and novels that give us some sense of the preoccupations and explorations of SF over time. We will be considering the following questions: What is SF? How has SF changed as a genre? How has SF impacted the world outside its borders? How does SF negotiate social issues such as race, gender, and sexuality? We’ll start with looking at selections from The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction and continue into sf of the 1950s “Golden Age,” then turn our attention towards the appearance of larger social issues such as race, gender, culture, consumerism, and the mediation of technology and privacy, before finishing with a look ahead at how the future is currently being imagined. Throughout we will reflect on how SF has been shaped by and shapes its genre and (our understandings of) its history.

Major Assignments

4 short critical reading papers, 1 literary analysis paper, 1 presentation, a midterm, and a final exam

Texts –

Selections from The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction

Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein