ENGL 2020--006

Themes in Literature and Culture: Science Fiction

Summer 2016, June Term

Room: PH 313 | Day/Time: MTWR: 215-415

Course Syllabus

Take-Home Final | In-Class Final Study Sheet


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About the Course

The Tennessee Board of Regents's stated goal for "Humanities and/or Fine Arts" requirements such as this course "is to enhance the understanding of students who, as citizens and educated members of their communities, need to know and appreciate their own human cultural heritage and its development in a historical and global context. Also, through study of Humanities and/or Fine Arts, students will develop an understanding, which they otherwise would not have, of the present as informed by the past.” This particular course will examine the history and nature of a literary/cinematic/television form that was once considered marginial and is now of central importance to all media. A study of the cultural significance of the genre by SF writer Thomas Disch is subtitled: "How Science Fiction Conquered the World." Reading and viewing representative SF, we will track that conquest and seek to understand what it means.

Websites/Links|Power Points

Websites/Links: 11 Faces of Doctor Who (Entertainment Weekly) | 21 Books That Changed Science Fiction and Fantasy Forever | 25 Worst Science Fiction Films | 40 Greatest Science Fiction Posters | 100 Best SF Novels | Author Spolight—James Tiptree, Jr. | Stephen Burt, "Author, Feminist, Pioneer—The Unlikely Queen of Sci-Fi" [NPR] | Cyberpunk | Dr. Horrible on YouTube | Dr. Horrible Script | Encyclopedia of Science Fiction | How to Do a Book or Film Review | Lavery, Late for the Sky: The Mentality of the Space Age | Mid-Term Study Sheet | NPR's Top 100 Fantasy and Science Fiction Books | Prophets of Science Fiction | The Real History of Science Fiction (BBC) | Sample Student Essays | Science Fiction Authors: A Chronology | SF Definitions | SF Genres/Subgenres | SF Lexicon | SF Websites | "The Shakespeare Code" (Doctor Who) | Speculative Fiction Database | Things to be Aware of When Writing Your Essays | Thoughts on Science | Thoughts on Space | Utopias/Dystopias | Watson, "A Letter from God" | Starter Kits: Galaxy Quest | Zombies/Predestination | Dr. Horrible

Power Points: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | From ENGL 6650/7650, James Tiptree, Jr. and Science Fiction): Cyberpunk | Dystopias/Utopias | SF Definitions | SF Movies | SF Television | SF Subgenres | Steampunk | Time Travel | Miscellaneous—Franco Brambilla, "Invading the Vintage" | The Clarion Workshops | Cosmic Calendar | Firefly / Serenity | Futurama / MST 3000 | Gnosticism | Griffin | Science Fiction Authors | Science Fiction Lexicon | "The Plan is Death": Imagining the End with James Tiptree, Jr. | Who Power Points: America Needs Who | Neverending Story | Doctor Who's London

Dr. David Lavery

Office PH 316A | Office Hours: TWR 900-1130, 100-215 | E-mail david.lavery@mtsu.edu | Office Phone/Voice-Mail 615-898-5648 | Home Page http//davidlavery.net/ 

Dr. David Lavery is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor in the English Department at Middle Tennessee State University (1993- ). The recipient of the University's 2006 Distinguished Research Award, he is the author of over one hundred and fifty published essays, chapters, and reviews and the author / co-author / editor / co-editor of twenty-one books, including Joss Whedon, A Creative Portrait: From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Avengers, TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural, The Essential Cult Television Reader, and The Essential Sopranos Reader. The co-convener of international conferences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the work of Joss Whedon and The Sopranos; co-founder of the Whedon Studies Association and its journal Slayage and founding editor of Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany), been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York Times, A Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), Information (Netherlands), AP, The Toronto Star, USA Today, and The Financial Times. From 2006-2008 he taught film and television at Brunel University in London. He is currently working on two books: Genius at Work: Wallace Stevens, Charles Ives, Benjamin Lee Whorf and the Imagination of insurance and ". . . and imagination can see them again": Four Exercises in Barfieldian Poetics.  

Class Members

Abdullah Hussain Alshawaf | Blake Wedgeworth | Bradley Johnson | Brandon Ward | Danielle Light | Hallie Plunkett | Jamison Butner | Jessica Gilley | Joel Westberg | Keerawat Mingcharoenwong | Matthew Maynard | Melissa Thomson | Katylynn Marie Soles | Noof Khalid Mohamed Al Jabri | Salim Nasser Ali Al-Manji | Susanna L Martin