This course will focus on the way societies of the future have been depicted in film and literature, with emphasis on the way literature and cinema have predicted, anticipated, and sometimes opposed technologies of film, television, surveillance, robotics, genetic engineering, networking, and virtual reality. The course aims to demonstrate the impact of science fiction on society, and to show how literary and cinematic imagination have not only played a role in forecasting and even shaping new technologies, but have also served the social function of critiquing present trends by extending and revealing their utopian and dystopian possibilities. The required readings include some of the most famous and important works of the science fiction genre; wherever possible, we will view movies that have been made from these novels and stories to see how the same issues are treated differently in literature and film.
Requirements: One short (2-3 pages) paper; final examination; one in-class report/presentation (10-15 minutes); final research paper (12-15 pages).
Academic integrity is important:
The Annenberg School for Communication is committed to upholding the University’s Academic Integrity code as detailed in the Scampus guide. It is the policy of the School of Communication to report all violations of the code. Any serious violations or pattern of violations of the Academic Integrity Code will result in the student’s expulsion from the Communication major or minor.
ADA COMPLIANCE STATEMENT
“Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776."
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game Thomas Moylan, Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia
(Westview Press, 2000)
Scott Bukatman, Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction
(Duke U Press, 1993)
Carl D. Malmgren, Worlds Apart (Indiana U Press, 1991)
Other readings, in the form of articles, chapters, and web pages, may be assigned as appropriate by the instructor.
Films: “Metropolis,” “The Time Machine,””Brazil,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “1984,” “War Games,” “Bladerunner,” “Total Recall,” “Gattica,” “Minority Report”
Week 1 Introduction: Imagining the Future (no reading)
Selections and clips from “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Terminator”