ENGL 242 F: Reading Prose Fiction

Science Fiction&Speculative Fiction: A History of Genres and Media

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SIG 224
Aaron Ottinger

Additional Details:

Course: ENGL 242F: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction: A History of Genres and Media VLPA

Meets: MW 12:30-2:20pm SIG 224

Instructor: Aaron Ottinger, ajo3@uw.edu, Office:

Office Hours: MW: 2:30-3:30pm

In an age of big screen superheroes, interstellar space travel, and apocalyptic endings, it is easy to think that science fiction and speculative fiction are recent inventions of Hollywood. But literary critics tend to locate the familiar conventions of science fiction and speculative fiction in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (and in some cases, even earlier), with the birth of modern science and the growing popularity of prose fiction. Through a series of in-class discussions, short written assignments, and a major essay, students will investigate the development of science fiction as a conflict of genres. Additionally, through a written adaptation of the student’s design, the class will explore how writing for twentieth century media, such as radio, comic books, and film, alter the rhetorical effects of these genres. Our inquiry will conclude by asking how speculative fiction in its various forms can serve as an experimental domain with respect to thinking about identity, the environment, and of course, science and technology.  This course fulfills the UW's "W" requirement.

Required texts (in order of reading)

Moore, Thomas. Utopia. Translated by G.C. Richards and William Weaver, Broadview, 2010. 9781551119663.

Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. Vintage, 2006. 978-1400078776

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus. Edited by J. Paul Hunter,  2nd ed., Norton, 2011. 978-0-3393-92793-1

Cavendish, Margaret. The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World. Broadview Press, 2016. 978-1554812424

Butler, Octavia, Dawn. Aspect, 1997. 978-0446603775

Lemire, Jeff. Trillium. Vertigo, 2014. 978-1401249007

Catalog Description: 
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:31pm