The Critical Essay: Science Fiction

From RealCTY
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Critical Essay: Science Fiction
Writing Course
Course CodeWR4D
Years of Operation2006-2008
Sites OfferedCAR, LOS, LOU, SAR
Part of a series on
Realcty logo 20060831.png
CTY Courses
Category · Template · CAA Courses
Baltimore · Carlisle · Lancaster · Los Angeles · Saratoga Springs · Seattle
Logic: PoR
International Politics ·
Ethics · Existentialism
Philosophy of Mind
Cognitive Psychology · Linguistics
Newton, Darwin, and Einstein
The Art and Science of Filmmaking
Beyond the Binary: A Cultural History of Gender
Laws and Orders: Legal Systems Around the World
Writing Your World
Fiction and Poetry
Utopias and Dystopias
Persuasion and Propaganda
The Art of Fiction
Probability and Game Theory
Number Theory · Mathematical Logic
Cryptology · Combinatorics and Graph Theory
Macroeconomics and the Global Economy
Fundamentals of Microeconomics
Computer Science
Data Structures and Algorithms
Fundamentals of Computer Science
FPHS Biology · FPHS Chemistry · FPHS Physics
Paleobiology · Genetics · Neuroscience
Investigations in Engineering
Introduction to Biomedical Sciences · Electrical Engineering
Special Relativity
Princeton & Berkeley
Global Politics: Human Rights and Justice
Human Nature and Technology
Politics and Film · Epidemiology
The Mathematics of Competitive Behavior
Science, Technology and Public Policy
Race and Politics · Politics in the Middle East
The Global Environment
Playing God: The Ethics of Human Subjects Research
You Will Be Offended: Satire, Comedy, and Public Discourse
Defunct Courses
Beginning Ancient Greek · German 1
German 2
Latin 2
French 1 · French 2
Great Revolutions
American History
Modern European History · Eastern European History
Music Theory
History of Western Art
Renaissance Art
Introduction to American Studies: Race and Class
Medieval Art
Twentieth Century Art · Gandhi's India
American Studies: The Sixties · Women and US Social Reform
American Studies: The Harlem Renaissance
Intermediate Ancient Greek
Islam · The Asian Pacific Rim
Russian History
TCE: Literature and the Arts · TCE: Popular Culture
The Crafting of Drama
The Crafting of Poetry · TCE: Shakespeare
TCE: Science Fiction
TCE: Beyond the Ring and the Wardrobe
Advanced Mathematical Modeling
Advanced Mathematical Reasoning
Statistics · Calculus: A Conceptual Approach
Topics in Precalculus
Set Theory · Digital Logic
Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science
Introduction to Laboratory Sciences · Archaeology
Microbiology · Selected Topics in Advanced Biology
Selected Topics in Advanced Chemistry
Selected Topics in Advanced Physics · Physical Anthropology
Advanced Physics: Mechanics
Scientific Investigations: St. Mary's River · Genomics
Etymologies · Oceanography: The Hawaiian Pacific
Life Cycle of an Island: Hawaii
The History of Disease · The Critical Essay: Film
Wicked Art: Pictures, Pixels, and Pens
Latin I
Goodwives and Witches: Women in Colonial America
Freaks and Geeks in Popular Media
The Digital Revolution
Advanced Robotics
Theory of Computation
Individually Paced Mathematics Sequence
Service, Leadership & Community Transformation
Advanced Cryptology
Law and Politics in US History
Intro to Organic Chemistry

Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2006):

The Martian tripods that strode forth to divide and conquer in H.G. Wells’s 1897 War of the Worlds were not only monsters in a “scientific romance” but also a means of illustrating the real-life brutality of British imperialism. Science fiction, in fact, has always engaged pressing political and cultural concerns. Genre pioneers from Harlan Ellison to Ursula K. Le Guin have examined such issues as genetic engineering, class oppression, gender politics, and environmental sustainability.

Beginning with early texts like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and concluding with current classics such as Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, students in this writing course explore major works of science fiction in their historical and cultural contexts. Through lectures, critical reading, and discussion, they consider how authors not only react to scientific or technological advancements, but also challenge our assumptions about society and ourselves. How, for instance, is Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles a critique of Cold War America amidst the uncertainties of the Atomic Age? What does Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower illustrate about contemporary racial tensions and urban decay?

Students supplement their literary study with analysis of selected films and television shows, such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Minority Report, and The Twilight Zone. They produce four to six major essays, developing their skills through an intense process of drafting, critiquing in workshops, and revising.