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ENGL 221 C - Speculative Futures

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


Introduces majors and non-majors to several important conversations arising from the expansive genre of speculative fiction. In this course students will explore some of the most profound, disturbing, and downright bizarre imaginings of the future that human beings have generated. Climate change, ageing, fascist regimes, reproductive rights, technological failures, scientific advancements, and apocalypse are just a few of the possible topics for this class. Course materials will be drawn from literary works, contemporary and historical scientific developments, and cultural theory to explore how and why speculative futures are linked to specific cultural contexts, technologies, and social schemes.

Special Instructions:

Speculative Futures - Our future is-and has always been-uncertain. In this course we-ll read science fiction and speculative fiction by some of your favorite authors: Margaret Atwood, N.K. Jemisin, George Saunders, Octavia Butler, and many more. Students will have the opportunity to branch out into film, TV shows, graphic novels, and video games. This course is meant to be inclusive of multiple perspectives, including Afrofuturism, Indigenous voices, and immigrant and diasporic experiences of the future. Our goal is to consider the following questions: what do our visions of the future tell us about the state of the world-historically and in the present day- What kinds of questions, ideas, and problems motivate the future- What roles does technology play in these visions- Who gets to construct our future and why- Assignments will include weekly wikis, discussion questions, and a final project. No exams!

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Undergraduate

Credit: 3

Term(s): Spring


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