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  • 1. Module AMS 3011 AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION Dr Lorna Jowett MODULE GUIDE 2005 - 2006 1
  • 2. CONTENTS PAGE Introduction 2 Learning Outcomes 3 Teaching and Learning Strategy 3 Seminar Schedule 4 Core Texts 5 Coursework Requirements 5 Coursework Submission Dates 5 Coursework Titles 6 Plagiarism 6 Referencing 7 Video Availability and Copying 7 Suggested Resources 7 Supplementary Reading and Viewing 11 2
  • 3. Introduction This course aims to explore recurrent themes (e.g. the utopian ideal) and representations (e.g. of aliens, of gender) and their development in U.S. science fiction, and to examine how these relate to concerns in American society. Different types of science fiction texts (films, television shows), and the nature of interaction within the genre, and with other fields will be studied. The module has been designed to challenge assumptions about science fiction, but also to capitalize on stimulating material and to relate science fiction themes to existing knowledge about U.S. society and culture. Thus the thematic structure of the module allows a range of key issues to be examined in depth, focussing on a core of texts but with reference to larger generic and social contexts. Analytical content is stressed, as appropriate at level three, and in particular the module helps develop critical analysis and the application of theory. Module Coordinator and Contact Details Lorna Jowett (MR76b) lorna.jowett@northampton.ac.uk Tel: x3294, direct dial 01604 893294 Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the module students will be able to: Knowledge and Understanding a) recognise recurring themes and how they function within the genre of science fiction b) analyse and discuss key issues in American science fiction c) identify and explain the relevance of materials and concepts drawn from an appropriate range of disciplines Subject - specific Skills d) creatively use a variety of materials, methods and discourses in the examination of themes in American science fiction e) deploy critical perspectives drawn from the study of science fiction, film, literary or cultural theory f) synthesise ideas from a range of sources Key Skills g) communicate complex ideas clearly and accurately in both written and oral forms 3
  • 4. h) function effectively as a member of the group in facilitating individual responses i) demonstrate an openness to consider different approaches to a problem. Teaching and Learning Strategy TEACHING, LEARNING + ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES STUDY HOURS 24 x 2 hour seminars 48 Seminar preparation and reading (24 x 4 hours) 96 1 x 2,500 word essay 30 Exam revision 26 TOTAL 200 Assessment strategy*and assessment criteria: ASSESSMENT ITEMS UNITS WEIGHT- LEARNING ING OUTCOMES 1 x 2,500 word essay 2.5 50% a,b,c,d,e,f,g, h, i 1 x Exam (2 hour) 2.5 50% a,b,c,d,e,f,g, h, i 4
  • 5. Seminar Schedule AUTUMN TERM Week 1: 3/10 Introduction: What is SF? Week 2: 10/10 Screening: The Terminator Week 3: 17/10 Utopia/ Dystopia Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; The Terminator; Blade Runner Supplementary texts: THX1138 Week 4: 24/10 Screening: Alien Week 5: 31/10 Corporate Futures Core texts: Alien; The Terminator Supplementary texts: Dark Angel; Rollerball; Robocop Week 6: 7/11 Screening: Blade Runner Week 7: 14/11 Ecology Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; Alien Supplementary texts: Silent Running; Soylent Green; 12 Monkeys; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Week 8: 21/11 Screening: 2001: Space Odyssey Week 9: 28/11 The City Core texts: Blade Runner; Babylon 5 Supplementary texts: Metropolis; Logan’s Run; Week 10: 5/12 Virtual Spaces Core texts: Blade Runner Supplementary texts: Tron; The Matrix; Dark City Week 11: 12/12 Essay Tutorials SPRING TERM Week 1: 9/1 Genre: What is SF? Definitions Core text: 2001 Week 2: 16/1 Genre: What is SF? Narrative and Form Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; Babylon 5; The X-Files Week 3: 23/1 The Development of the Alien Core texts: The X-Files; Alien; Babylon 5 Supplementary texts: The Day the Earth Stood Still; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Close Encounters…; E.T. Week 4: 30/1 Alien/ Other Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; The X-Files Supplementary texts: Alien Nation; Men in Black; Brother From Another Planet Week 5: 6/2 Early Androids, Robots, A.I.s Core texts: 2001, Star Trek: TOS Supplementary texts: Metropolis; Forbidden Planet; Star Wars Week 6: 13/2 Postmodern Androids, Robots, Cyborgs, A.I.s Core texts: Alien; The Terminator; Blade Runner Supplementary texts: Robocop; Star Trek: TNG Week 7: 20/2 Gender in SF to 1970 Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; 2001 Supplementary texts: Queen of Outer Space, Barbarella 5
  • 6. Week 8: 27/2 Gender in SF from 1970 Core texts: The X-Files; The Terminator; Alien; Babylon 5 Supplementary texts: Aliens; Terminator 2 Week 9: 6/3 Reproduction in SF Core texts: Alien; The X-Files Supplementary texts: Species; Gattaca; Alien Resurrection; Dark Angel Week 10: 13/3 Reproduction, Generic Hybridity and Fandom Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; Alien; The X-Files Supplementary texts: Galaxy Quest; the Alien series Week 11: 20/3 Exam briefing Week12: 27/3 Exam revision session SUMMER TERM From Exam revision Week 1: 23/4 Core Texts This course will not have texts scheduled each week, but has a core of texts which will be referred to throughout. To allow students to make progress in assimilating the core materials, the first sessions will be more general. Film screenings will be incorporated into the initial weeks of the course. 2001 (MGM, 1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick, 139 mins. Alien (Twentieth Century Fox/ Brandywine, 1970), dir. Ridley Scott, 117 mins. Blade Runner: the director’s cut (The Ladd Company/ Columbia Tristar, 1991), dir. Ridley Scott, 112 mins. The Terminator (Orion Pictures Corporation, 1984), dir. James Cameron, 108 mins. Star Trek: The Original Series 1966-1969 The X-Files 1993-2002 Babylon 5 1994-1998 6
  • 7. Coursework Requirements 1 x (2,500) word essay. 1 x 2 hour exam. NB Essay topics are taken from Autumn term sessions; exam topics will be taken from Spring term sessions. Students are reminded that they must not repeat work from coursework in the exam. Coursework Submission Dates Extensions for coursework will be granted only when proper documentation is provided. Work submitted late without an extension within one week of the deadline will receive a maximum grade of D-. Work submitted over one week late without an extension will receive a grade of G. Essay: Monday 16 January 2006. Exam: Summer Term. Coursework Titles Essay Topics – Autumn Term All questions refer to American science fiction. “Texts” is used to mean either film or television. 1. Do modern science fiction texts figure America as predominantly dystopian? Why? 2. What elements influence the dystopian vision of The Terminator? 3. Science fiction texts offer “a mirror of and access to our increasingly complex cultural landscape” (Telotte, 2001). Discuss with reference to at least one science fiction representation of a corporate future. 4. What place does ecology have in a genre that is primarily associated with science and technology (science fiction)? 5. Is American science fiction predominantly concerned with urban issues? 6. Do science fiction texts use space (physical or otherwise) to reflect social issues and divisions? NB Essay topics are taken from Autumn term sessions; exam topics will be taken from Spring term sessions. Students are reminded that they must not repeat work from coursework in the exam. 7
  • 8. Plagiarism The college unequivocally condemns plagiarism (see American Studies Handbook) and defines it thus: The college defines plagiarism as the incorporation by a student in work for assessment of material which is not their own in the sense that all or a substantial part of the work has been copied without any attempt at attribution or has been incorporated as if it were the student’s own when in fact it is wholly or substantially the work of another person. Plagiarism (presenting other people’s work as your own) is unacceptable and will be penalised. Plagiarism is not only a question of deliberately submitting or copying someone else’s work in order to deceive the marker; failing to adequately acknowledge when you have quoted from or closely paraphrased one of your sources can also be interpreted as plagiarism. Therefore it is extremely important that you reference your work properly and thoroughly and that you provide a full and correctly presented bibliography with every written piece of work. PLAGIARISM WILL BE DETECTED AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED ON THIS MODULE. Referencing Your essay should be accurately referenced according to the guidelines in the American Studies Handbook (also available on web board). Thus you will be expected to cite the titles of texts correctly (titles of novels or monographs in italics; titles of poems, articles or short stories in “quotation marks”), to reference all quotations and sources – giving (author, date, page) in parentheses after the quotation – and to provide a full bibliography at the end of your essay. Video availability and copying All the films on the schedule should be available in multiple copies in the library and can be watched in the library or borrowed overnight. There is at least one copy of each film in the short loan section of the library where there are also viewing facilities. If you require your own copy of a particular film for research or presentation purposes, the library will make one if you provide a tape. Suggested Resources JOURNAL ARTICLES are not included. You will be expected to conduct your own searches for relevant journal material. NB The library carries Extrapolation, a major American sf journal (from 2002). I have my own subscription to Foundation, the major UK sf journal (from 2002), and can lend volumes out as appropriate. Items marked with an * ARE in my own collection but may NOT be in the library. 8
  • 9. This is NOT an exhaustive list. UTOPIA/ DYSTOPIA Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (London: Routledge, 2003)*. Tom Moylan Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (New York: Methuen, 1986)* --. Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia (Oxford: Westview, 2000).* J. P. Telotte “The Science Fiction Film as Fantastic Text: THX 1138” in Science Fiction Film (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001): pp123-141.* CORPORATE FUTURES James H. Kavanagh “Feminism, Humanism and Science in Alien” in Alien Zone ed. Annette Kuhn Alien Zone (London: Verso, 1990). Pp73-81. 791.43ALI THE CITY/ VIRTUAL SPACES Scott Bukatman Blade Runner BFI Modern Classics (London: BFI, 1997) 791.4372* Giuliana Bruno “Ramble City: Postmodernism and Blade Runner” in Alien Zone ed. Karen Haber, ed. Exploring the Matrix (ibooks/ Byron Preiss Visual Publications: 2003)* Annette Kuhn Alien Zone (London: Verso, 1990). Pp128-141. 791.43ALI Annette Kuhn, ed. Alien Zone II: The Spaces of Science Fiction Cinema (London: Verso, 1999).* WHAT IS SF? James Donald ed. Fantasy and the Cinema (London: BFI, 1989). 791.43090915FAN* Edward James Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). 809.3876JAM * Geoff King and Tanya Krzywinska Science Fiction Cinema : From Outerspace to Cyberspace (London: Wallflower Press, 2001).* Annette Kuhn, ed. Alien Zone (London: Verso, 1990). 791.43ALI* Constance Penley ed. Close Encounters (Minneapolis, Minn: U of Minnesota Press, 1991). 791.43656CLO * Adam Roberts Science Fiction (New Critical Idiom) (London: Routledge, 2000). * J. P Telotte Science Fiction Film (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).* ALIEN/ OTHER Daniel Bernardi Star Trek and History: race-ing toward a white future (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998). Deborah Cartmell et al eds. Alien Identities (London: Pluto, 1999). * Ximena Gallardo C. and Jason Smith Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley (New York/ London: Continuum, 2004)* H. R. Giger HR Giger’s Film Design (London: Titan, 1996). * Harvey R. Greenberg “Reimagining the Gargoyle: Psychoanalytic Notes on Alien” in Close Encounters Ed. Penley et al. (Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota Press, 1991). 791.43656CLO 9
  • 10. James H. Kavanagh “Feminism, Humanism and Science in Alien” in Alien Zone ed. Annette Kuhn (London: Verso, 1990). Pp73-81. 791.43ALI Stephen Neale “Issues of Difference: Alien and Blade Runner” in Fantasy and the Cinema ed. James Donald (London: BFI, 1989). 791.43090915FAN David Thomson David Thomson on the Alien Quartet Bloomsbury Movie Guide No. 4 (London: Bloomsbury, 1998).* ANDROIDS, ROBOTS, CYBORGS, AIs Scott Bukatman Blade Runner BFI Modern Classics (London: BFI, 1997) 791.4372* Sean French The Terminator BFI Modern Film Classics (London: BFI, 1996). 791.4372FRE* Nick Heffernan “Artificial Intelligence and Class Consciousness: Blade Runner” in Capital, class and technology in contemporary American culture (London : Pluto Press, 2000): pp148-161. Judith Kerman ed. Retrofitting Blade Runner 2nd ed. (Bowling Green: Bowling Green Sate University Popular Press, 1997) 791.4372RET Stephen Neale “Issues of Difference: Alien and Blade Runner” in Fantasy and the Cinema ed. James Donald (London: BFI, 1989). 791.43090915FAN* Constance Penley “Time Travel, Primal Scene and the Critical Dystopia” in Alien Zone ed. Annette Kuhn (London: Verso, 1990). Pp116-127. 791.43ALI J. P. Telotte “The Exposed Modern Body: The Terminator and Terminator 2" in Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film Urbana and Chicago: (University of Illinois Press, 1995). Pp169-185. 791.43615TEL J. P. Telotte “The Science Fiction Film as Uncanny Text: Robocop” in Science Fiction Film (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001): pp161-178.* GENDER IN SF Brian Attebery Decoding Gender in Science Fiction (London: Routledge, 2002)*. Barbara Creed “Alien and the Monstrous-Feminine” in Alien Zone ed. Annette Kuhn (London: Verso, 1990). Pp128-141. 791.43ALI Ximena Gallardo C. and Jason Smith Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley (New York/ London: Continuum, 2004)* Justine Larbalestier The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2002)* Sarah LeFanu In the Chinks of the World Machine: Feminism and Science Fiction (London: The Women’s Press, 1988). 823.0876LEF * Judith Newton “Feminism and Anxiety in Alien” in Alien Zone ed. Annette Kuhn (London: Verso, 1990). Pp82-87. 791.43ALI Constance Penley Nasa/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America (London: Verso, 1997). 306.450973PEN* Robin Roberts Sexual Generations: Star Trek The Next Generation and Gender (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. * Joanna Russ To Write Like a Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1995). 810.99287RUS * REPRODUCTION Catherine Constable “Becoming the Monster’s Mother: Morphologies of Identity in the Alien Series” in Kuhn, ed. Alien Zone II: The Spaces of Science Fiction Cinema (London: Verso, 1999): pp173-202.* 10
  • 11. Barbara Creed “Alien and the Monstrous-Feminine” in Alien Zone ed. Annette Kuhn (London: Verso, 1990). Pp128-141. 791.43ALI Ximena Gallardo C. and Jason Smith Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley (New York/ London: Continuum, 2004)* Sarah LeFanu In the Chinks of the World Machine: Feminism and Science Fiction (London: The Women’s Press, 1988). 823.0876LEF * Constance Penley Nasa/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America (London: Verso, 1997). 306.450973PEN* MISCELLANEOUS Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross Trek Navigator (London: Boxtree/ Macmillan, 1998).* William Gibson/ Larry McCaffrey “An Interview with William Gibson” Larry Joan Gordon and Veronica Hollinger eds. Edging into the Future (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002)* Taylor Harris, ed. Enterprise Zones : critical positions on Star Trek (Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1996). Jan Johnson-Smith Science Fiction Television: Star Trek, Stargate and Beyond (London: I B Tauris, 2004)* Kim Newman Science Fiction/ Horror Reader (Sight and Sound Reader) (London: BFI, 2001) Nichelle Nichols Beyond Uhura (London: Boxtree, 1995). * Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda & Debbie Mirek The Star Trek Encyclopedia (New York: Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), 1994). * Thomas Richards Star Trek in Myth and Legend (London: Orion, 1997).* Michael Rogin Independence Day BFI Modern Classics (London: BFI, 1998).* John Tulloch and Henry Jenkins Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek (London: Routledge, 1995). * 11
  • 12. SUPPLEMENTARY VIEWING: PRIMARY SOURCES Utopia/ Dystopia Alien/ Other THX1138 Invasion of the Body Snatchers Brazil The Day the Earth Stood Still Logan’s Run The Thing from Another World 1984 Star Trek etc. Demolition Man Close Encounters of the Third Kind E.T. Alien Nation Babylon 5 The X-Files Independence Day Mars Attacks! Men in Black The Brother From Another Planet Farscape Corporate Futures Androids, Robots, Cyborgs, A.I.s Rollerball Metropolis Robocop Forbidden Planet Star Trek: The Next Generation Robocop Android Star Wars Ecology Gender in SF Silent Running Queen of Outer Space Soylent Green Attack of the 50ft Woman 12 Monkeys Barbarella Star Trek (all incarnations) Dark Angel The City/ Virtual Spaces Reproduction Metropolis Frankenstein Logan’s Run Species Tron eXistenZ The Fifth Element Alien Resurrection Dark City Gattaca The Matrix 12
  • 13. APPENDIX Document sets 13

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