|Room: Tate Hall, Room 22
Office: Room 1, basement of Tate hall
MW, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Library Reserve Desk: 882-4581
|Required Texts (in reading order):
- LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969.
- Butler, Octavia. Dawn, 1987.
- Jones, Gwyneth. North Wind, 1994.
- Atwood, Margaret The Handmaid's Tale, 1985.
- Scott, Melissa Trouble and Her Friends, 1994.
- Shelley, Mary Frankenstein, 1817.
- McHugh, Maureen China Mountain Zhang, 1997.
- Wood, N. Lee Looking for the Mahdi, 1996.
- Library Reserves (these will be
available at the Circulation Desk
throughout the semester)
Warrick, Patricia S., Charles G. Waugh and Martin H. Greenberg, eds. Science Fiction: The Science Fiction Research Association Anthology, 1988.
- The Alien Cycle (Alien/Aliens/etc.)
- Deep Impact
- Handmaid's Tale
- Star Trek
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Info on English 16:
Babes in Space: Women in Science Fiction as Authors and
Objects has been carefully designed by yours truly, Marta Boswell, and my former co-teacher, Rachel Sage (now making tons of money at a real job in Seattle). We want you to, of course,
love the books. However, beyond being a 16-week excuse to read sci-fi novels and thereby
escape all other, let's say, worldly concerns (like homework for your real
classes), we want to make this class a space for inquiry into the issues raised by the
texts we will be reading. Underlying most good science fiction novels are lots of
questions about the universe. Most fundamentally, what is its nature? What is our nature?
What is our place in the universe? How does time work? Is there a god? Good science
fiction often asks its readers to consider the impact of religion, politics, or technology
on human life and culture.
In addition to those foundational nodes of inquiry, we want this class to be a space
for the exploration of ideas about race, gender, and otherness. Many female science
fiction writers foreground such concerns in their work, and the construction of female
characters by male science fiction writers often unintentionally provokes questions about
the same issues. So as you read and as you love these books, be thinking about those
To improve your ability to read material that challenges received ideas about
the world. To improve your ability to articulate a response to such readings. To expand
your knowledge of science fiction, particularly science fiction by and about women. To
make you think about race, gender and otherness as it applies in the books and in all of
our every day lives. Most of this will be accomplished by sheer inundation of material. If
youve ever wanted to drown in a sea of words, this is your semester. We're going to
read, read, read.
Respect. Responsibility. Communication. Collaboration. And work, work,
work. That goes for all of us, me included.
are expected to be in class and to contribute to class discussions and activities. More than 9 absences and I'll consider you dropped from the class.
Additionally, you're responsible to participate in the List-Serv, post your Book Review
and your Character Analysis Report on time, and check-in weekly to take the Reading Quizzes.
I will only accept late work if you make prior arrangements with me
for an extension. That means you need to contact me at least 24-hours before the
assignment is due, preferably a week or two in advance. Work turned in after the due
date when no prior arrangement has been made may receive an "F".
If you need accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency
medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the
building must be evacuated, please inform me immediately. If you wish to speak privately
about such accommodations, please see me during office hours or after class.
To request academic accommodations (for example, a notetaker), you must also register
with Disability Services, AO38 Brady Commons, 882-4696. It is the campus office
responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students requesting academic
accommodations, and for accommodations planning in cooperation with students and
instructors, as needed and consistent with course requirements.
Plagiarism means the use of anyone elses words or ideas as your own.
Functionally, for our purposes, the definition of plagiarism encompasses any attempt to
use anyone elses words or ideas as your own. I do understand that citation is a
tricky business and that we may, on occasion, encounter some unintentional instances of
plagiarism due to missing or misplaced parenthetical markers. This type of plagiarism will
require a rewrite of the assignment. Willful attempts to pass off the work of another
student or an authoritative source as your own will result in penalties which may include:
- An "F" on the assignment
- An "F" in the class
- A report of the incident to the English Undergraduate Advisor
- A report of the incident to the Provosts office
- Expulsion from the university
50 (or lower) F
Both exams will be primarily essay in nature. The Midterm will cover
the readings from the first half the class. The Final will, primarily, cover the readings
from the second half the class. The final may contain some questions that ask you to
consider the class as a whole, including some reference to pre-Midterm texts.
Posts (10% total)
We will use these to fuel class discussions. The list-serv
posts should reflect your questions and difficulties with the previous weeks
material, as well as any insights you have about a given text. You may choose to focus
deeply on one portion of the assigned material, or to talk more generally about how it
connects to other elements in the same text or in other texts.
Your list-serv posts should show that you are thinking about the texts and that you are
thinking about the fact that you're writing into a moderated public forum. That
means I expect at least one substantive post on each book from all of you, as well as
additional posts on the essays and short stories, on your research projects, and on the
book reviews, both those you've done and those you've read. If list traffic is slow
or unproductive, I may assign specific post topics in class or on the Weekly Update.
You should post something of substance to the list at least ten times this
semester. You should also keep in mind that I'll be reading the posts along with
your classmates and anyone else who browses our archives. That means, first and
foremost, no flaming, i.e., no personal attacks on anybody. It also means you should
use your posts to further the on-going discussion--please try to avoid contributing notes
that say nothing more than "I loved/hated it" or "me too".
Quizzes (10% total)
Just what they sound like. These will appear on-line
on a weekly basis. You'll have a limited time frame (usually the week or so
surrounding our class discussion of a text) in which to take the quiz, so be sure you keep
up with the reading! The quizzes will be multiple choice, and yep, you're free to
use your books, but watch out! These aren't the usual bonehead questions.
Keep in mind, the on-line format of these quizzes is an experimental one. If, for
whatever reason, I decide the quizzes are not providing a fair estimate of your reading
abilities, we will choose another quiz format.
Review (10% total)
The due date for your Book Review will depend on the book on
which you've chosen to work. Your Book Reviews should be about three to five pages (750-1000 words),
free of spelling and grammar errors, and written according to the rules of proper MLA
style and citation. (Mainly, this means youll need to note the page numbers of the
book you cite in parentheses after any quote.) Books for review should be chosen from the
Book Recommendation List unless you have requested and received special permission to report
on another text.
|Character Analysis Report (10% total)
You will be responsible to choose the due date for your Character Analysis Report. The goal of this project is to give you a
chance to learn more about female characters in science fiction. You'll be choosing a movie (or set of movies), a comic book series, a tv series, or a video game that prominently features a female character. You will then be analyzing your character according to a set of criteria I'll provide. In addition to a ten-minute in-class presentation of your findings,
followed by a question/answer session, you must turn in a three page (750 word) written
summary of your research. For this research report, you may need to consult additional outside sources like other web sites, books, general interest magazines, and scholarly
journal articles. Some journals you might find helpful include: Science Fiction
Studies, Journal of Popular Culture, and Extrapolation. You
must use proper MLA citation in your written summary and you must include both a Works
Cited and a Works Consulted page. See me for research topic approval and source
assistance. You will be paired with one other person for this project and both of you will
share the project grade.