This Introduction to Cultural Studies puts speculative fiction (print and film) in conversation with contemporary critical theory, journalism, social science and other discourses that extrapolate potential future from the historical present. We’ll take a brief look back to dueling representations of mid twentieth century representations of capitalism, bioscience, technology, and ideal citizens in the post World War II era as a prelude to late 20th and early 21st century depictions of utopian and dystopian futures. What virtually all of these texts share is the conviction that the future is “ours” to shape. They critically diverge in their representation of this collective, their vision of utopia and dystopia, and the ingredients of each. A primary goal of this course will be to engage you in identifying and speculating on the possible futures that make-up our present and to take a stance on them. What is your utopia and how do you imagine us getting there? Required texts are likely to include: 1984, Oryx and Crake, Parable of the Sower.