Spring Semester Senior Choice

This course will examine some of the canonical texts of the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The texts will be studied as a means of understanding our world through the analysis of different worlds. In addition to analysis of plot, the texts will be used to access critical discussions such as Deep Ecology, the Heideggerian critique of technology, the role of “fate,” and the character of the “hero.” The place of these genres in the overall world of “literature” will be assessed. Texts include J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Frank Herbert's Dune, William Gibson's Neuromancer, and others to be selected by the class from a list including (but not limited to) the works of Neal Stephenson, Ursula LeGuin, Mary Doria Russell, China Mieville, Lev Grossman, and Stephen Donaldson. Students will be graded on class participation, frequent reading quizzes, tests, and papers.