Summer 2013 ENGS 40: Topics in Science Fiction and Fantasy: Worlds Gone Wrong Instructor: Dr. Deborah Noel, Sr. Lecturer in English at UVM Course Description: In this course, we?ll read contemporary novels and short stories in the dystopian or post-apocalyptic genres, and we?ll look at wide-ranging plots. Authors will include Kurt Vonnegut, Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Alex Garland and Max Brooks, among others. The class will be reading intensive, and students will be encouraged to read at least one of the books ahead of the first meeting. Plots in these page-turners range from Octavia Butler?s look at a historical American dystopia in Kindred, to a human reboot via devolution in Vonnegut?s Galapagos; from the classic paradise-gone-bad story in Ursual LeGuin?s ?The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas? and Alex Garland?s The Beach, to surviving a zombie apocalypse in Brooks?s World War Z, and more. Reading for class includes: Octavia Butler, Kindred (1979) Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos (1985) Alex Garland?s The Beach (1997) Max Brooks, World War Z (2006) Ursula LeGuin, ?The Ones of Walk Away from Omelas? (1973) A few more short stories TBA Other Suggested Novels (If you?ve read and liked any of these, you?ll probably like the class reading list): Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland (1915) and With Her in Ourland (1916) George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, (1948) Ray Bradbury, Farrenheit 451 (1953) William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954) Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) Margaret Atwood?s The Handmaid?s Tale (1985) Cormac McCarthy, The Road (2006) Other Suggested Short Stories Shirley Jackson?s ?The Lottery? (1948) Vonnegut?s ?Harrison Bergeron? (1961) and ?Welcome to the Monkeyhouse? (1968)
Students will be expected to write reader responses for each class (1-2 pages handwritten or typed), participate in class discussions and complete two drafted essays building on reader responses (5-7 pages each).
Students will be evaluated primarily on preparedness, attendance/participation, and written assignments.