This class will examine the science fiction genre in film and literature, from the 19th century to the present. In particular, we will focus on the “science” aspect of science fiction, through the lens of biology in its various iterations, including microbiology, pathology, and genetics. We will place the literature and film within their specific cultural and historical circumstances, and use relevant theory to help inform our discussions. By following the most pressing themes of science fiction as they are transformed through scientific discoveries over time, we will discover the importance of past speculations for our present and future concerns. Throughout, we will continuously return to the question: What is unique about the science fiction genre, and why does it matter? Texts might include: The Island of Dr. Moreau, Gattaca, The Girl with All the Gifts, The Thing from Another World, and Dawn.

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