Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session
Examines how anthropology and speculative fiction (SF) each explore ideas about culture and society, technology, morality, and life in "other" worlds. Investigates this convergence of interest through analysis of SF in print, film, and other media. Covers traditional and contemporary anthropological topics, including first contact; gift exchange; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality, and cultural relativism; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; technology and environment. Thematic questions addressed in the class include: what is an alien? What is "the human"? Could SF be possible without anthropology?
Students will write three 7-page papers. Each paper represents 25% of the subject grade. No emailed papers accepted. Late papers lose a full grade a day. Students will also be evaluated on class participation, including the preparation of occasional reading notes to prompt class discussion as well as contribution to classroom conversation (25% of subject grade). Punctual attendance is obligatory. There is no final.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York, NY: Harper, 2006. ISBN: 9780060850524.