Science Fiction: Ecofiction

Course Number: ENGL 192EF
Prerequisites: Writing 2, or 50, or 109, or English 10 or upper-division standing
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Writing Requirement, GE Area G Requirement
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 192
Quarter: Winter 2019
Instructor: Jue, Melody
Day(s): WF
Time: 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Location: TD-W 1701
Description:

ENGL 192: Science Fiction & Ecology

This course will introduce the literary genre of science fiction (SF) and its engagements with the science of ecology. SF writer Frank Herbert famously wrote that ecology is not only the study of the relations between organisms and environment, but also the “study of consequences.” This definition suggests that ecology shares an affinity with the literary genre of science fiction, since both involve the act of speculation, imagining how new technologies, species, or contact with aliens could affect the future of the planet. Focusing on SF from the post-WWII period (1945-present), we will consider shifts in contemporary environmentalism (conservation, sustainability, the Anthropocene) alongside literary texts and their imaginations of both alien ecologies and planetary futures. During the quarter, we will consider topics including cybernetics, species extinction, hierarchy, deep ecology, ecological Marxism, biopolitics, the Anthropocene, the posthuman, gender, race, collectivity, and dystopia. For English Majors, this course counts for either the “Literature & Environment” or “Literature & Cultures of Information” specializations.