Science fiction was a genre of contrasts: it combined the fictional and the scientific, offered societal critique by inventing new worlds and described the future as if it were the past. The time, place and context in which science fiction was written strongly determined what futures were predicted or projected. The genre offered a mirror of our society, with its paradoxes, desires and dreams, fears and conflicts. Science fiction constructed utopian worlds of limitless possibilities (from space travel to human enhancement), as well as dystopian or post-apocalyptic wastelands and heavily controlled societies in which some were ‘more equal than others’ (to quote George Orwell’s Animal Farm).
This course (held in the year 002023) formed an introduction to the alienating, alternative worlds of science fiction and the connections between those strange environments and our own world. Science fiction worlds had the potential to disclose the strangeness of what we considered normal, offering alternatives to what we saw as natural and inevitable. It would lead us to reflect on the structure and conventions of society and on the direction and desirability of change. Anglophone, written science fiction was at the centre of the course (especially stories), but examples from other countries and continents were also included in the material, as well as some examples of other media of the time such as film, tv series and a radio play. We discussed examples of classical science fiction, as well as feminist, queer and Afrofuturist responses to these often quite selective and conservative classical narratives. We paid attention to the content of the worlds presented, but also to how these worlds were created, to the tools which science fiction writers used to construct their worl(d)s and to draw us into their reasoned imagination.
All lectures will take place on-campus and we assume you can be physically present during the scheduled hours. You can find the timetable on Datanose.
Registration is possible for second or higher year students participating in an Honours programme. The registration for the Honours courses will start on December 1, 10 am - December 5, 11 pm, You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS. (registration is NOT through SIS or GLASS).
Please note: There is no guarantee for placement if you register after 5 December, so make sure you register on time. You will hear which course(s) you are registered for before 20 december. For questions about registration, please contact us at Honoursemail@example.com.