Official Course Description: This course examines how science fiction literature envisions the impact of machine technology on the individual and society. The human/machine interaction will be traced from early myths to contemporary science fiction, including works by Asimov, Clarke, Delaney, Gibson, Lem, Orwell, Vonnegut and Zelazny.
Prerequisites: ENG 101 and 201 or ENG 121
As a consequence, for ENG337-981, Professor Bisz online course will cover
What does it mean to be human? We'll examine subjects such as the social construction of women, including a running theme in sci-fi of women as robots or dolls. We'll examine traditional tropes like planetary disaster, aliens, and what these images in sci-fi suggest about our human needs and fears. Finally, we'll be studying the concept of people integrating with machines, both in the real world and in the sci-fi world, and we'll talk more figuratively about how we program ourselves with different values, prejudices, or logical thinking. A Cyborg is a being who is partly machine and partly human, and in our class it represents the subject matter itself: how real world, human issues become mixed into the made-up "fiction" that is science fiction. As metaphorical scientists, you will explore the weird corridors of this course, draw connections to real life, and figure out what this Cyborg you're studying can teach you about the world we live in--and yourself.
Course Credit: 3