Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG237H1F L5101

ENG237H1F    L5101    W6-9
Science Fiction
M. Johnstone
Office Telephone: 416-978-6768
Office Address: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 803

Brief Description of Course:
This course will treat science fiction (SF) as a significant literature and tradition that has reflected and responded to our rapidly changing modern world in distinct ways since the late 19th century. During the term, we will attempt to develop a working definition of science fiction not just by identifying its tropes and conventions, but also by understanding what it does that sets it apart from other genres and from mainstream literature. To do so, we will explore themes of the encounter with the alien (or, Other), dystopia/utopia and apocalypse, and subjectivity and identity, as well as consider the influence of the medium of science fiction (i.e., short stories, novels, graphic novels, film) upon how we define and identify the genre. Overall, we will approach SF as a literature of critique that explores challenging and profound questions about the human condition.

Required Reading: Heather Masri, ed., Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts, compact ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014); Octavia Butler, Lilith’s Brood (Grand Central, 1989); William Gibson, Neuromancer (Ace, 1984); Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed (Harper, 1974); Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem, trans. Ken Liu (Tor, 2014).

NOTE: The novels by Butler, Gibson, Le Guin, and Liu will be available at Bakka Phoenix Books (84 Harbord Street, 416-963-9993). The Masri anthology will be available at the UofT Book Store (Koffler Centre, at St. George and College Streets).

First Three Authors/Texts: TBA

Method of Evaluation: First in-class test (20%); second in-class test (25%); first quiz (5%); second quiz (10%); essay (40%).
Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

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Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

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