ENGL 124
Androids, Sci-Fi, and the Self Fall 2017
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed SCST 124 / ENGL 124
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

The idea of an almost-human machine dates to antiquity, and such beings have captured the imaginations of epic poets, religious storytellers, and, more recently, novelists and filmmakers. But why are we fascinated by the possibility of non-human robots passing, or almost passing, as human? Why is the non-human, non-reproductive android so frequently depicted as exemplifying either masculinity or femininity? And what makes un-gendered androids like Star Wars’s C3PO comedic or melodramatic? This course focuses on 20th century literary representations of robots and androids, with a dual emphasis on non-human mentalities and on the gendering of near-human bodies. The reading list will include sci-fi classics by the likes of Karel Capek, Isaac Asimov, Ursula Le Guin, and C.L. Moore, as well as more recent work by Octavia Butler, Anne Carson, Ekaterina Sedia, and Marge Piercy. The class will introduce students to critical readings from narrative theory, feminist theory, and philosophy of mind; and we will grapple with the difficulty of distinguishing the android from the human when both are confined to page.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1905
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: four response papers and three more substantial essays (drafted and revised), for a total of about 20 pages; participation in class discussions
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under SCST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
SCST 124 Division II ENGL 124 Division I

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