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ENGH 202: Texts and Contexts

ENGH 202-011: Science Fiction and Social Jus
(Spring 2021)


Section Information for Spring 2021

Science fiction is often seen as an escapist genre that has little to say about the complexities and challenges of the contemporary world. Yet for many writers, science fiction has provided crucial spaces to interrogate and contest the world that we live in, and to imagine how we might live otherwise. In this class, we will read classic and contemporary science fiction in order to think about the relationship between fiction, speculation, and social justice. What kinds of critical commentary on the present does speculation make possible? How does science intersect with racial, gender, and other forms of oppression? How might speculating about the past or the future bring more just presents into being? These are just some of the questions that we will tackle through novels, films, and short stories by masters of the genre including Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Janelle Monáe.

Students will learn how to analyze textual mechanics and interpret texts within their social and historical contexts. Assignments will include weekly textual analysis drills, three short essays, and a creative group final project.

ENGH 202 011 is a distance education section.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Studies literary texts within the framework of culture. Examines texts within such categories as history, gender, sexuality, religion, race, class, and nation. Notes: Builds on reading and writing skills taught in ENGH 101. May be repeated within the term.
Mason Core: Literature
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits of 100-level English.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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