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En 102
Origins of Science Fiction
9 units (3-0-6)  | first term
Most histories of science fiction leave out medieval literature entirely, and often much of the early modern era - and some even skip straight forward to begin in the 20th century. But many of the fundamental characteristics of modern science fiction in fact have their origins in much earlier literature. In this course, we will read several classics of modern science fiction alongside medieval and early modern texts, considering how and why science fiction has remained such a powerful imaginative form for so long. Modern readings may include Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, or Octavia Butler's "The Book of Martha." Medieval and early modern readings may include Mandeville's Travels; More's Utopia; medieval bestiaries, lapidaries, and herbiaries; alchemical texts; Kepler's Somnium; or Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing World.
Instructor: Klement