ENG237H1F - L0101

Science Fiction


Monday 11 am - 1 pm, Wednesday 11 am - 12 pm

Instructor Information

Dr. M. Johnstone

E-mail:  m.johnstone@utoronto.ca

Course Description

This course will treat science fiction (SF) as a significant literature and tradition that has reflected and responded to the effects of science and technology upon 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 SF not just by identifying its formal tropes, rhetorical conventions, and aesthetics, but also by investigating the philosophical and political perspective that informs SF’s critical commentary on the human condition. To do so, we will explore themes of dystopia/utopia, visions of individual and social identity in the future, and the encounter with the alien.

Required Readings

Four novels to be determined; a selection of short stories from Vandermeer, eds., The Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage, 2016).

First Three Authors/Texts


Methods of Evaluation

  • Essay #1 (#%)
  • Essay #2 (#%)
  • Reading Quizzes (#%)
  • Test (#%)