John Rieder


John Rieder has been teaching at UH Manoa’s English Department since 1980, the year he received his Ph.D. from Yale University. For the first twenty years of his career he was mainly a specialist in English Romanticism, publishing a book on William Wordsworth, Wordsworth’s Counterrevolutionary Turn (University of Delaware Press, 1997) and numerous essays on the poetry of Percy Shelley. From around 2000 on his research agenda has focused on science fiction. His book on early science fiction, Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2008. In 2011 he received the Science Fiction Research Association's Pioneer Award for his essay "On Defining Science Fiction, Or Not: Genre Theory, Science Fiction, and History." He currently serves on the editorial board of Extrapolation, the oldest journal in the field of science fiction studies. Professor Rieder has also published on fairy tales in cinema and television, in collaboration with Professor Cristina Bacchilega, as well as on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its dramatic and film adaptations, and on problems of periodization, the professionalization of literary studies, and the canon. Professor Rieder's recent graduate teaching has been about equally divided between courses on science fiction and courses on literary and cultural theory. He received the University of Hawai`i at Manoa’s Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Teaching in 2005.


Recent Publications: Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System. Wesleyan University Press, 2017. Co-edited with Grace W. Dillon and Michael Levy, special issue of Extrapolation on Indigenous Futurism, Vol. 57 Nos. 1-2 (2016). “American Frontiers.” In The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction, edited by Gerry Canavan and Eric Carl Link. Cambridge UP, 2015: 167-78. With Cristina Bacchilega. “Fairy Tales and the Commercial: Carosello and Fractured Fairy Tales.” In Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales and TV, edited by Pauline Greenhill and Jill Rudy. Utah State University Press, 2014: 336-59. “Science Fiction, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism.” In The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction, edited by Rob Latham. Oxford UP, 2014: 486-97. “Sun Ra’s Otherworldliness.” In Africa SF, edited by Mark Bould. Paradoxa No. 25 (2013): 235-52. “The Mad Scientist, the Failed Experiment, and the Queer Family of Man: Sirius, Frankenstein, and the SF Stockroom.” In Parabolas of Science Fiction, ed. Brian Attebery and Veronica Hollinger. Wesleyan UP, 2013: 161-179. "What is SF? Some Thoughts on Genre." A Virtual Introduction to Science Fiction: Online Toolkit for Teaching SF. Ed. Lars Schmeink. Web. 2012.   “John Henry Palmer’s The Invasion of New York, or How Hawaii Was Annexed: Political Discourse and Emergent Mass Culture in 1897.” In Future Wars: The Anticipations and the Fears, edited by David Seed, Liverpool University Press, 2012: 85-102. “Race and Revenge Fantasies in Avatar, District 9, and Inglourious Basterds.” Science Fiction Film and Television 4.1 (2011): 41-56.

Areas of Interest

Science fiction, the Gothic, Marxist theory, British Romanticism


2011: Science Fiction Research Association’s Pioneer Award for Best Essay of 2010, for “On Defining Science Fiction, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History.” 2005: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching


BA, University of Cincinnati MA, PhD, Yale University


Spring Semester 2018
  • ENG-760Q: Seminar in Science Fiction: Science Fiction and Genre Theory

Fall Semester 2017
  • ENG-271: Genre: Science Fiction

Spring Semester 2017
  • ENG-427: Studies in Lit Criticism & Theory: Posthumanism and Science Fiction

Fall Semester 2016
  • ENG-433: Studies in 19th C Literature: The Gothic