Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

LIT 145S/ENVIRON 181S: ‘Science Fiction and Ecology’

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Instructor: Gerry Canavan (
Meets: TuTh 2:50 PM – 4:05 PM
Fulfills: EI, STS, ALP

This course pairs thinkers and theorists in the ecological humanities with science fiction texts from the 1970s, 1980s, and today. After several early weeks establishing a shared foundation of critical reference points, we focus on five primary texts for the remainder of the semester: John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up (1972), Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia (1975), Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel Swamp Thing (1982-1987), Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003), and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Wind-Up Girl (2009), with additional attention paid to other films, short stories, scientific readings, and theoretical texts as appropriate. Implicit in the organization of the course is a comparison between the environmental politics of the 1970s and the contemporary situation, as well as new consideration of what the “science” of “science fiction” might entail for the twenty-first century.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm

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