Spring 2005, Sharon Goetz
(I taught two similar classes back to back: the first was composition only, whereas the second had a research component. The secondary sources we read are not included here, unaccountably.)
Using texts that explore the exercise of unusual power by unusual characters, this course examines the entangled interfaces linking human and almost-human, individual and community, and identity and responsibility. Who determines what is “human” or “normal”? How does ignoring or minimizing difference impact someone’s relationship with society? Where and how do personal and social responsibility overlap and come into conflict? What are some ramifications of the resulting ideological compromise? . . . In several pieces of analytical writing, both formal and informal, we will develop skills pertaining to the argumentative thesis, overall essay structure, use of textual evidence, the process of revision, and research methodology. An 8-10pp. paper at the end of the semester will combine an argument of your own with guided library and online research. In addition, please be aware that active participation in class is vital to your success in this course.
Butler, Octavia. “The Evening and the Morning and the Night.” Bloodchild and Other Stories. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1995. 35-70. [Originally in Omni, 1987.]
Keats, John. Lamia. The Poetical Works of John Keats. Ed. H. W. Garrod. Oxford: Clarendon, 1939. 191-214.
Murphy, Pat. “His Vegetable Wife.” The Norton Anthology of Science Fiction. Ed. Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Attebery. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993. 628-32.
Chiang, Ted. “Liking What You See: A Documentary.” Stories of Your Life and Others. New York: Tor, 2002. 281-323.
Wolfe, Gene. “The Fifth Head of Cerberus.” The Fifth Head of Cerberus: Three Novellas. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1972. 3-73.
Bradley, S. J. A., trans. Judith. Anglo-Saxon Poetry. London: J. M. Dent, 1982, 1995. 495-504.
Liuzza, R. M., ed. and trans. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2000. 151-55, 60-61, 228-31 [reader order].
Heaney, Seamus, trans. Beowulf. New York: W. W. Norton, 2000.
Padgett, Lewis [Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore]. “Mimsy Were the Borogoves.” The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF. Ed. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. New York: Tor, 1994. 122-43. [Originally in Astounding, Feb 1943.]
Carroll, Lewis. Chapters One and Two. Through the Looking-Glass. Ill. John Tenniel. New York: Macmillan, 1899. Available online via Electronic Text Center, Univ. of Virginia: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/
Zelazny, Roger. “24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai.” Frost and Fire. New York: Morrow, 1989. 203-77. [Originally in Asimov’s, Jul 1985.]
Ford, John M. “Heat of Fusion.” The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF. Ed. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. New York: Tor, 1994. 553-63. [Originally in Asimov’s, Sep 1984.]
Delany, Samuel R. The Einstein Intersection. 1967. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1998.