English 311: The Science Fiction Short Story

What can we learn for our own future from a century’s worth of aliens, robots, and star wars? How does science fiction help us to think about the differences between others and ourselves? This course looks at science fiction through a history including the early pulp magazines, the golden age, the new wave, cyberpunk, and contemporary U.S. and global works. We’ll explore science fiction’s big questions and aesthetic techniques, mostly through stories but also in film, digital media, fan universes, and at least one novel. Likely authors: W.E.B. Du Bois, H. P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, C.L. Moore, Arthur C. Clarke, James Tiptree, Jr., Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delany, Pat Cadigan, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ted Chiang, Rebecca Roanhorse, Paolo Bacigalupi, Nnedi Okorafor, Vandana Singh. Requirements include short writing exercises on a near-weekly basis, several shorter and longer papers papers, and a short group or individual adaptation project.