Course taught at Emory University, Spring 2019
Science fiction was birthed by a 19-year-old girl over 200 years ago, with the publication of Frankenstein in 1818. Mary Shelley is thus the mother of science fiction, but who are her literary daughters? And can we consider them major authors? In this literature course we will read two major texts from each of our major authors, starting with Mary Shelley, before jumping forward in time to novels by Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin, two major authors working within/adjacent to feminist science fiction. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss the literary genre of science fiction, analyze how our female major authors fit (or don’t fit) into that genre, and ponder what feminist science fiction in particular might look like or be about.
Major primary course texts will include: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), The Last Man (1826), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), Oryx and Crake (2003), The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), and The Dispossessed (1974). Secondary source texts will include literary criticism articles, as well as op/eds and essays by our major authors.
We may also watch film and television adaptations of the major course texts, including Frankenstein (1931, dir. James Whale) and The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-present).
As this course is designated “continuing writing,” we will place strong emphasis on learning how to engage critically with literature through our writing. Assignments may include: a character analysis paper, comparison paper, and final paper or creative final project option.
Last updated on: April 8, 2019