Courses Detail Information

ENGL3480J – Modern PhysicsScience Fiction


Peter Weise

Credits: 3 credits

Pre-requisites: ENGL2000J Obtained Credit


This course focuses on the genre of science fiction. Readings primarily include novels and short stories from the 19th century to the present, but lectures also address debates about the history of science fiction to contextualize readings. Works of science fiction will be selected from various national traditions.

Course Topics:

  1. Debates over the nature and origin of science fiction
  2. Soft versus Hard Science Fiction
  3. Shift from marginal to mainstream genre in the 20thcentury
  4. Political, economic, and scientific contexts of science fiction
  5. Forms of science fiction: novel, short story, magazine, film
  6. Different national developments of science fiction, such as in France, Britain, U.S., Soviet Union, and China
  7. Selection of key authors: Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Olaf Stapledon, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Moorcock, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and Liu Cixin
  8. Selection of key themes: utopia/dystopia, feminism, alien encounters, robots, space travel, time travel, technological sublime