Thema  An Virtual Introduction to Science Fiction 
Veranstaltung  Seminar Ib
Nummer   53-563
Zeit  Dienstag 18-20 Uhr
Raum  Hörsaal K, ESA 1 
Beginn 03. April 2012

Seminar am Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik der Universität Hamburg, Sommersemester 2012

Plakat„Science Fiction is the literature of change,“ postulates SF editor James Gunn in his anthology The Road to Science Fiction (Volume 1: vii). And it is also a literature of ideas. Science Fiction deals with human reactions to situations of extreme changes, and to extreme ideas. It is a literary reflection on the possibilities of the human species. As such it developed when humans started seeing unaccustomed possibilities, when they were confronted with changes beyond their understanding: at the beginning of the 20th century. And, of course, it is the literature of technology, reflecting on its development, criticizing or glorifying its possibilities. This seminar is combined with the lecture series of the same name. Each session is dual in nature: first a guest speaker will give an introductory lecture via video conference, then a q&a session follows. In the second half of the session, we will then discuss exemplary reading material that deals with the issues touched upon in the lecture. Thus, in this seminar, we will examine the development of the genre starting with SF predecessors in the 19th century, we will go on to examine the emergence of SF in the pulp magazines, it’s rise to glory in the Golden Age and it’s famous change to the New Wave of the 1960s, as well as the hard-SF revival in the cyberpunk of the 80s and 90s. We will survey thematic currents such as feminism or race within the scope of SF, as well as portraying other media forms of SF such as film, video games and fan communities. Thus, this course will require reading of several short stories, all of which should give a comprehensive overview of the developments of the genre and its literary as well as social value.

Attention!!! – The seminar thus combines a lecture series with a classic seminar approach and allows for weekly sessions on specialized topics. Experts will give „live“ talks via the net, introduce their fields of study and then answer questions from the audience. In the second part of the session, the given topic will be analyzed via exemplary short stories and the thematic concerns of the lecture brought to a practical reading.


03.04.2012  What is SF? Some Thoughts on Genre – Prof. Dr. John Rieder (University of Hawaii, USA)
10.04.2012  Proto-SF (History of SF up to 1900s) – Dr. Brian Stableford (University of Reading, UK)
17.04.2012  The Rise of the Pulps (1900s-1930s) – Dr. Zahra Janessari (University of Teheran, Iran)
24.04.2012  Golden Age of SF (1940s-1950s) – Prof. Dr. Gary Westfahl (University of La Verne, USA)
08.05.2012  New Wave of SF (1960s-1970s) – Dr. Ed Carmien (Mercer County Community College, USA)
15.05.2012  Cyberpunk (1980s-1990s) – Prof. Dr. Pawel Frelik (University of Lublin, Poland)
22.05.2012  Slipstream and Crossovers (2000s) – Prof. Dr. Doug Davis (Gordon College, USA)
05.06.2012  SF as Genre Film (1920s-1960s) – Prof. Dr. Alfredo L. Suppia (University of Campinas, Brasil)
12.06.2012  SF and New Hollywood (1970s-2000s) – Dr. Mark Bould (University of the West of England, UK)
19.06.2012  Feminism in Science Fiction – Prof. Dr. Ritch Calvin (State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA)
26.06.2012  Race in Science Fiction – Prof. Dr. Lisa Yazek (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
03.07.2012  Fandom in Science Fiction – Prof. Dr. Robin Reid (Texas A&M University, Commerce, USA)
10.07.2012  New Media Forms of Science Fiction – Dr. des. Stefan Hall (Defiance College, USA)

A reader with the short story material will be given out in the first session!

Course requirements:

– Active participation and regular attendance of lecture and seminar

– Regular reader cards each week on discussion topics

– Term paper of 10-12 pages