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Learning Objectives

To clearly articulate variations on genres, subtexts, and influences; this will be developed through close consideration of and written engagement with our source material, through class discussions, and through on-going collaborative constructive criticism.

  • To become familiar with anthropological, historical, critical-theoretical, and media-studies perspectives as modes of analysis
  • To become comfortable with the web-based research and presentation tools that are part of the course dynamic
  • To consider the contemporary world with a more nuanced sense of the possible

Source Materials

The material for the class is drawn from many media. These include conventionally-defined texts (novels, short stories, and scholarly essays), but also encompass comics, websites, and blogs; radio broadcasts (and perhaps podcasts); films and TV shows; and video and computer games. Like the novels and short stories, the films and TV come from a long list of possibilities (i.e., 2001: A Space Odyssey; Alien; Avatar; Battlestar Galactica; Blade Runner; Brazil; Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same; Children of Men; Dark City; District 9; Dr. Who; E.T.; Galaxy Quest; I, Robot; Independence Day; Men in Black; Metropolis; Minority Report; Moon; Orphan Black; Sense8; Soylent Green; Sleeper; Star Trek; Star Wars; Terminator). Students are encouraged to suggest others.

Course Policies

  • Attendance at and attentiveness in all class meetings is vital to this course. Participation will allow you to both benefit from and be able to assist your classmates by taking part in conversations and discussions of readings as well as work in progress. As such this contribution to class discussion is mandatory.
  • Excused absences are only allowed for special circumstances such as emergencies or illness. Please notify both Profs. Keramidas and Nagle in the event an excused absence is necessary. Unexcused absences and repeated lateness will affect your final grade
  • The shape of projects may shift in a way that you will be working collaboratively with other students. In cases of collaborative work you are expected to work well with your collaborators, contribute what is expected of you, and not allow other members to carry the workload.
  • Plagiarism–the use of words, ideas, or arguments from another person or source without citation–is unacceptable in all circumstances and will be punished severely.