Courses Detail Information

VR318 – Modern PhysicsScience Fiction


Instructor: Peter Weise

Instructors (Faculty):

Credits: 3 credits

Pre-requisites: VY100 and VY200

Description:

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

Course Profile