ENGL348C - Literary Works by Women: Science Fiction

In this class we will explore science fiction by women around the theme of "survival," reading works by Julie Czerneda, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Sally Miller Gearhart, Connie Willis, the Black writer Octavia Butler, the South American writer Angélica Gorodischer, and the Indian writer Padmanabran, as well as Judith Moffett's novel set in College Park. We will study the film Making Mr. Right, and read short stories by many other writers, as well as sample Japanese manga. We will ask if the history of science fiction by women is the same as that for male writers, and if women had (or have) a special tradition within the genre. We will use feminist theory to look at aspects of the science, psychology, and literary strategies of these works. And we will examine how the writers' differing (and changing) standpoints on the political isssues of feminism, sexuality, and colonizing are represented in their fictions. Class will be almost entirely discussion, with student reports on the writers and student panels on the feminist readings. Requirements: midterm and final examinations, two papers with optional revision on the first (4-5 pages each), and class participation (attendance, discussion, oral reports, etc.).


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.