Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG102H1F L0101 M2, W2-4
Literature & Sciences
Professor Thom Dancer

Brief Description of Course: Appropriate for non-humanities students. Like science fiction? Argue with your friends about the depiction of future and fictional worlds? Want to learn how to talk with more sophistication about what you like and dislike about art, fiction, and film? Ever wonder what science fiction novels, stories, and movies tell us about ourselves, our future as a species, the trajectory of technology? Then this class is for you. This class aims to develop a critical appreciation of popular science fiction, popular culture, and film from the perspective of literary analysis. Central to critical appreciation is the recognition of literature as carefully crafted art form, which basically means coming up with a cogent account of

We will watch and read works of contemporary science fiction that ask questions about the political ramifications of technology (Rogue One); that ask us to think about the human in new ways (Ready Player One); that consider our relationship to the fragile planet on which we depend (Fifth Season and Annihilation); that consider different perspectives for considering human reason in relation to alien reason (Ancillary Justice and The Three Body Problem). Along the way we will practice expressing our opinions in various media: class discussion, video, position statements. All writing required is informal, though it will prepare students for more formal academic writing.

Required Reading: Ancillary Justice, Leckie; Lightless, C.A. Higgins; The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin; Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu; Dark Orbit, Carolyn Gilman; Charles Darwin, The Manhattan Projects, Hickman & Pitarra (subject to change).

First Three Authors/Texts: Liu; Rogue One; Leckie.

Method of Instruction: Lecture.

Method of Evaluation: Quizzes (22%), reading journal (25%), written analysis (20%), exam (33%) .

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