Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4695 MCCLUNG, JAMES TR 2 :00 PM 0136

Topics Title
Exploring Postcolonial Worlds: Science Fiction and Postcolonial Identity

ENGL 4695­ – Exploring Postcolonial Worlds: Science Fiction and Postcolonial Identity

(Topics in Postcolonial Literature)

Course Description:

The 20th century postcolonial British and American novels and the science and speculative fiction of Britain and America from the same period share similar trajectories. The analyses of cultural identities, emigration and relocation, as well as the redefinition of historical narrative in the context of discoveries and encounters with an alien, cultural, or simply un-relatable ‘other’ are often at the very heart of both science fiction and postcolonial studies. Far from identifying this as simple coincidence or convergence, this course will aim to describe and investigate the particular ability of science and speculative fiction works and authors to address traditional postcolonial themes in provocative and creative ways, sometimes freeing the discussions from the intensely political and therefore agenda-driven confines of more ‘traditional’ postcolonial works. Students will have the opportunity to explore both fiction and film in addition to secondary materials relative in both direct and indirect ways to the composition and reception of these works and will explore the rise of popular science fiction in Britain and the US and the role this fiction plays in the multi-cultural movements of the 20th century.

  • Principal assignments will involve three essays and one mid-term exam in addition to an in-class presentation.
  • Daily interactions will be discussion-based and will require students arrive in class having read all assigned material in order to best facilitate discussion.







Required texts may include (but will not be limited to):

  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, ISBN: 978-0060850524
  • C. S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet, ISBN: 978-0743234900
  • Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey, ISBN: 978-0451457998
  • China Miéville, Embassytown, ISBN: 978-0345524492  
  • Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, ISBN: 978-0385490818
  • Phillip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, ISBN: 978-0345404473
  • Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, ISBN: 978-0441007318
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let me Go, ISBN: 978-1400078776
  • Nalo Hopkinson (Ed.), So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy,ISBN: 978-1551521589
  • Octavia Butler, Mind of My Mind, ISBN: 978-0446361880
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