Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Xenogenesis

Summer Classes Syllabi! “Science Fiction” (Sophomore Survey) and “The Law of Genre” (Grad Level)

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This weekend marks the tragic end of my research leave — I’m teaching two summer classes beginning Monday, a newly revamped version of my sophomore survey on science fiction (swapping in Never Let Me Go for Slaughterhouse-Five, Black Mirror for Avatar, and Ted Chiang for basically everything else) and a new graduate-level course on genre studies. I’m excited about both, but especially the grad course, which is laser-focused on books I find interesting.

I pulled back a bit on the writing assignments compared to last year because I think there’s a bit more reading, but some of that reading is deliberately structured as “secondary” so hopefully it won’t feel excessive. Main texts after some reshuffling are Never Let Me Go, The City and the City, Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Lolita, with guest appearances by Get Out, the Kubrick Lolita, The Twilight Zone, and Donald Barthelme…

Here’s the week-by-week:

M May 22 Introduction to the Course

viral video: “Too Many Cooks” [YouTube]

T May 23 Daniel Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory” [D2L]

Donald Barthelme, “The Joker’s Greatest Triumph!” [D2L]

W May 24 Darko Suvin, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Cognition as Ideology” [D2L]

(in class) The Twilight Zone: “The Eye of the Beholder” [Netflix]

 

secondary:

Gerry Canavan, “The Suvin Event” [D2L]

Th May 25 John Rieder, “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History” [D2L]

Ted Underwood, “The Life Cycle of Genres” [D2L]

M May 29 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T May 30 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part One)
W June 1 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Two)
Th June 2 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Three)

 

secondary:

film trailer: The Island [YouTube]

Martin Puchner, review of Never Let Me Go [D2L]

 

LESSON PLAN #1 DUE

M June 5 Carl Freedman, “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir” [D2L]

China Miéville, The City and the City (first half of Part One)

T June 6 China Miéville, The City and the City (second half of Part One)
W June 7 China Miéville, The City and the City (Part Two)
Th June 8 China Miéville, The City and the City (whole book)

China Miéville, “Notes on Walls” [Web]

 

secondary:

Carl Freedman, “From Genre to Political Economy: Miéville’s The City & The City and Uneven Development” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Unsolving the City” [Web]

S June 10 THINKPIECE #1 DUE BY 5 PM
M June 12 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 1-63
T June 13 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 63-165
W June 14 Toni Morrison, Beloved, whole book

 

secondary:

Carl D. Malmgren, “Mixed Genres and the Logic of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved” [D2L]

Grady Hendrix, “Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed” [D2L]

Elizabeth B. House, “Toni Morrison’s Ghost: The Beloved Who Is Not Beloved” [D2L]

Th June 15 film: Get Out

 

secondary:

Steven Thrasher, representative Get Out thinkpiece [Web]

 

LESSON PLAN #2 DUE

M June 19 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (first half)
T June 20 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (second half)

Charlotte Sturgess, “The Handmaid as a Romance Heroine” [D2L]

W June 21 Margaret Atwood, “Historical Notes on The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood, “The Road to Ustopia” [Web]

 

secondary:

John McAdams, “Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Demonizing Men” [PDF ON D2L]

Margaret Atwood, “What The Handmaid’s Tale Means in the Age of Trump” [Web]

Lili Loofburouw, “How Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale succumbed to the feminist curse” [Web]

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu series)

Th June 22 READING/WRITING DAY—NO CLASS
M June 26 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: “Foreword” and Part One, Chapters 1-22
T June 27 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: Part One, Chap. 23, through Part Two, Chap. 22
W June 28 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (whole book, including “On a Book Entitled Lolita”)

Stanley Kubrick, Lolita [Netflix]

Th June 29 VIRTUAL SYLLABUS WORKSHOP DAY! POST YOUR SAMPLE SYLLABUS AND COURSE NARRATIVES ON D2L AND SHARE QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND OTHER HELPFUL COMMENTS!
S July 1 THINKPIECE #2 DUE BY 5 PM

Octavia E. Butler Archives – Resources

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A sporadically updated list of materials I’ve either written or used or enjoyed on the Octavia E. Butler Archives at the Huntington Library, hopefully useful for other researchers:

* Octavia E. Butler Collection Finding Aid (500+ pages!);

* my general guide:  “The Octavia E. Butler Papers.” (Eaton Journal of Science Fiction);

* The Huntington’s landing page on Butler, including many images of manuscript documents;

Tracing Octavia Butler’s Footsteps: An Interview with Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson (a tremendous read!);

Inside The Octavia Butler Archives With L.A. Writer Lynell George; Butler’s notes from writing Kindred; Celebrating Octavia Butler at the Huntington; So Be It! See To It!; #VisitOctaviaButler tag on the Huntington’s Tumblr; “Archives” category at the OEB Legacy Network; Radio Imagination;

* me on Parable of the Trickster“’There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns’: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables.” (LARB);

* me (briefly) on the Fledgling sequel(s): Archives Reveal What Octavia Butler’s Next Books Would Have Been Like. (io9);

* me on Reagan in Dawn, Talents, and Paraclete“Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” (University of Illinois Press blog);

* and of course the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle: Octavia E. Butler (Modern Masters of Science Fiction, University of Illinois Press).

octavia-butler

Short Excerpt from My Book Up at University of Illinois Press: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler”

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I never got around to making a long link post this weekend, so just in case you missed it I wanted to flag that a short excerpt from my book (reskinned around the recent election) is up now at the University of Illinois Press blog: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” While the frame of this version of the material is now about Trump, the real meat of this thing is about Reagan, and about Butler’s special contempt for him not just during his presidency but across the remainder of her life.

I also talk a bit about what is probably my favorite of her unfinished novels, Paracelete. Check it out!

And don’t forget to buy the whole book, which is available now!

Spriiiiiiiing Breaaaaaaaaak! Links

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* Don’t miss the CFP for my upcoming Paradoxa special issue on “Global Weirding”!

* Of course you haven’t read Canavan until you’ve read him in the original French.

Black Study, Black Struggle.

* Today in the end of our lives’ work. Delaware State cuts more than a quarter of its majors. But don’t worry, we’ve finally got the solution.

Chairing a humanities department at the end of the world.

* Trying to put a number on adjunct justice.

* In the chit-chat of the checkup, as I lay back in the chair with the suction tube in my mouth, he asked: “What are you majoring in at college?” When I replied that I was majoring in philosophy, he said: “What are you going to do with that?” “Think,” I replied.

* Course evaluation forms ‘not read properly by students’: Undergraduates endorsed patently false statements in US experiment.

* Can a Marxist Read Tolkien?

Cli-Fi Comes to YA.

* I think you’ll find every possible jaundiced, post-academic riff on this story has already been made: French woman aged 91 gets PhD after 30 years.

* Cuomo bares fangs at CUNY.

A new United Nations report on racism as a human rights issue speaks to challenges people are facing right here in Milwaukee.

* All about the SF sensation of SXSW, Dead Slow Ahead. And more!

* Great moments in unenforceable contracts.

* Ten Years after the Duke Lacrosse Scandal. A prison interview with the accuser.

* A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a longstanding assumption about how they behave.

Reminder: NCAA Amateurism Is a Corrupt Sham, We Are All Complicit. March Madness means money – it’s time to talk about who’s getting paid. And here’s how to gamble on it.

* The trouble with people who lived in the past.

Inside the Protest That Stopped the Trump Rally.

* How to steal a nomination from Donald Trump. The Pre-Convention. There is no point in even having a party apparatus, no point in all those chairmen and state conventions and delegate rosters, if they cannot be mobilized to prevent 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate from imposing a Trump nomination on the party. I can’t be contrarian about Donald Trump anymore: he’s terrifying.

* Inside a Trump rally.

Meet the Academics Who Want Donald Trump to Be President.

* I do agree that presidential term limits make little sense, though my solution would be to abolish the office entirely.

The oldest man in the world survived Auschwitz.

* What if Daylight Saving Time never ended?

* Twilight of the Metro.

* Twilight of Sea World.

* Teach the controversy: Richard Simmons May or May Not Be Currently Held Hostage by His Maid.

As temperatures soar, new doubts arise about holding warming to 2 degrees C.

* The Sadness and Beauty of Watching Google’s AI Play Go. Game Two. Game Three. Game Five. But we got one!

How The TV Show of Octavia Butler’s Dawn Will Stay True to Her Incredible Vision.

Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism.

* Take your Baby-Sitters’ Club cosplay / fanfic blog to the next level.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.55.03 PM* Photoshopping men out of political photos.

* Scenes from Iconic Films Hastily Rewritten So They Pass the Bechdel Test.

* Another ultimate TedX talk.

Identical twins Bridgette and Paula Powers think of themselves as a single person.

Paul Nungesser has lost his Title IX lawsuit against Columbia.

* The Really Last Crusade.

* Chris Claremont visits Jay and Miles X-plain the X-Men.

* Despair fatigue.

* Paging Lt. Barclay: Science proves the transporter is a suicide box.

The Untold Tragedy of Camden, NJ.

* At least he denied it!

J.K. Rowling’s History of Magic in North America Was a Travesty From Start to Finish.

Scientists discover ‘genderfluid’ lioness who looks, acts and roars like a male.

* Always a good sign: Star Trek Beyond Is Reshooting and Adding an Entirely New Cast Member. Meanwhile: Paramount lawyers call Star Trek fan film’s bluff in nerdiest lawsuit ever.

* Jacobin reviews Michael’s Moore Where to Invade Next. Jacob Brogan reviews Daniel Clowes’s Patience.

* From our family to yours, happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Bonobos Just Want Everyone to Get Along.

* And because you demanded it: What if James Bond Was a Chimpanzee?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links!

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* A reminder: Marquette English has three open TT positions this year, two in rhet-comp and one in transatlantic Anglophone. The deadline is October 28.

If I were going to encourage you to take any one class simply because it’s good for the freshman soul, I would say this: Take some introductory literature class that forces you to memorize poems, heaps and gobs and mounds of poems, old poems.

* Jameson on time travel in the LRB.

* AAUP v. LSU.

* Leftist academics need to understand they are embattled both as leftists and as academics.

This afternoon at two o’clock the New York State Attorney General will announce the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Committee to Save Cooper Union, a group of activist students, faculty, and alumni against the Cooper Union trustees. The settlement will impose various reforms to Cooper Union governance, establish an independent financial monitor for the college, and begin the slow, difficult process of re-establishing Cooper Union as a free, healthy institution. Incredible turn of events. The tragedy of Cooper Union.

* A Proposed Heuristic for Academic Budgeting Decisions.

NY Fed Study Should Redefine How We Think About Student Loans and College Costs.

“Thanks, UCF, for having lecture-capture courses so I don’t have to go to class ever.”

A former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server tried this week to fend off a subpoena to testify before Congress, saying he would assert his constitutional right not to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself. I continue to think Democrats are completely in denial about how bad this story could get.

Massive hurricanes striking Miami or Houston. Earthquakes leveling Los Angeles or Seattle. Deadly epidemics. Meet the “maximums of maximums” that keep emergency planners up at night.

The Moral Panic Over Sexting. Today’s obscenity.

The Accreditation Wars: Where are the Faculty?

* Some rules for teachers.

* Films for the feminist classroom.

The proportion of people with intellectual disability who have been treated with psychotropic drugs far exceeds the proportion with recorded mental illness. Antipsychotics are often prescribed to people without recorded severe mental illness but who have a record of challenging behaviour. The findings suggest that changes are needed in the prescribing of psychotropics for people with intellectual disability.

Boom shakalaka! Read an interview with the NBA Jam voiceover artist.

* Concrete Action, the Wikileaks for architects.

* I’ll take three.

* Yahoo has added commentary tracks from Dan Harmon to its Community episodes.

* Harvard will let students select their own pronouns.

Iceland Caps Syrian Refugees at 50; More Than 10,000 People Respond With Support for Syrian Refugees.

* American Chess May Finally Emerge From The Shadow Of Bobby Fischer.

Meet the Twitter Bot Generating Unnervingly Plausible Think Pieces.

* Another Colbert profile.

California Uber Drivers Can Proceed With Their Class Action.

* Wow, finally: Octavia Butler’s Dawn is allegedly being developed for TV.

* Goonies forever.

* Piggy, Kermit, and domestic violence. Next up: why Elmer Fudd hunting animals out of season is actually no laughing matter…

Octavia Butler’s Favorite Calvin & Hobbes Strip, Probably

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Alongside her Star Trek fan fiction (!), today in the Butler archives I found a typed-out transcription of this classic Calvin & Hobbes strip appended to a draft of a c. 2000 speech entitled “Fixing the World.” I think it must have been her planned opener. It’s a little bit on the nose…

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Failing My Saving Throw against Egomania – 2

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I have a few pieces out in a couple of new books:

* “Debt, Theft, Permaculture: Justice and Ecological Scale” is in Debt: Ethics, the Environment, and the Economy, which is based on a conference the Center for 21st Century Studies at UWM held a few years ago. This one is a little bit more political economy than the usual stuff I write, extending what Lisa and Ryan and I tried to do in the Polygraph introduction, though I did manage to sneak in some Kim Stanley Robinson near the end.

* “Life Without Hope? Huntington’s Disease and Genetic Futurity” is in Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure, out in hardcover today. The piece takes up a bunch of different pop-culture figurations of Huntington’s disease, but the focus is on Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos, Ian McEwan’s Saturday, Robert J. Sawyer’s Frameshift, and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy and “The Evening and the Morning and the Night.” No Kindle or paperback yet, but call your library!

I was also recently invited on the Old Mole Variety Hour out of Portland to talk a little bit about utopia, which you can find as a podcast here. As you can see at the link, I appeared as my famously inarticulate character “Jerry” Canavan, which explains why I begin every answer with “absolutely” and end every answer with “right?”