We will pursue this goal through two very different kinds of texts: classical social theory (written by social scientists) and science fiction novels and films (written by, well, novelists and screenwriters). Why bring these two together? First is simply the intellectual challenge of it. What better way to push ourselves to think widely, deeply, and collaboratively about society than to try and get our heads around such completely different kinds of writing. But on another level, science fiction stories and non-fiction theories of society have a lot in common.
"Science fiction helps us think about possibilities, to speculate - it helps us look at our society from a different perspective." -Mae Jemison, physician, NASA astronaut, and first African-American woman in space
Science fiction's speculation about possibilities is what makes it such fertile ground for studying society. We'll explore science fiction and social theory in their own terms, as well as how they speak to each other in interesting and important ways.