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C LIT 240 B: Writing In Comparative Literature

Speculative Fiction: Estranging the Familiar

Meeting Time: 
TT
Location: 
SMI
SLN: 
11776
Instructor:
Mimi Nielsen

Syllabus Description:

Course Syllabus for C Lit 240B, Spring 2015

Class Meets T/Th(F) 9:30-11:20am
Smith Hall  404

 

Instructor: Mimi Nielsen
Email: miminiel@uw.edu
Office: Communications B 015 (Basement)
Office Hours: Tuesdays: 3:30-4:30pm, Thursdays 1:30-2:30pm
 

Course Title: Speculative Fiction: Estranging the Familiar

Any situation in which some men prevent others from
engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence.
                                                               Paulo Freire

Course Description:

~Science fiction, fantasy science, and speculative fiction render the familiar unfamiliar and in so doing provide us, as readers, with the opportunity to perceive the world and ourselves in new ways.

~In this course we will take advantage of this loosely grouped genre-mix's imaginative scope—in depicting utopic and dystopic societies—to consider portrayals of power and control, and the significance of language and symbols.  We will focus on rhetorics of individuality and collectivity and question how they are used to include or exclude. We will investigate representations of stewardship and ownership and their relationship to destruction and sustainability, as well as ponder instances of despair and euphoria. How do authors convey hope and meaning despite creating scenarios of immense destruction, totalitarianism, and pervasive futility?

~We will engage in close readings and both class and small-group discussions to unpack our texts. We will consider these texts cross-culturally. How do the texts reflect different cultural perspectives? To guide our inquiry we will draw on a variety of critical methods, such as eco-criticism, feminism, and post-colonialism. To learn to write well is to learn to think clearly, a process that is greatly helped by engaging with the ideas of other thinkers.

 

Course Objectives:

The aim of C Lit 240 is to develop critical reading and academic writing skills by acquiring fluency in generating questions and articulating a point of view supported by textual evidence.

 

Required Texts:

Genesis. Bernard Beckett. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2006). ISBN: 978-0-547-22549-4. The UW Bookstore has this book. However, it is also available as an e-text on Amazon.com (Links to an external site.).

The Stories of Ibis. Hiroshi Yamamoto. Vi Media. Paperback (2010). ISBN: 13: 978-1421534404. Available at the UW Bookstore. 

The Windup Girl. Paolo Bacigalupi. Night Shade Books (2014). ISBN: 978-1-59780-4.

Additional Texts: These will be emailed to the class list. Make sure to update your email address and/or link your school email to your personal email.

 

Films:

Blade Runner (Theatrical Cut, 2007). Available at the Media Center on the third floor of the Suzzallo Library. Must be viewed in the library. Please come with the correct call number: C Lit 240 B. 1.

Snowpiercer.

Media Center Call Names: 

DVD WHV 034/Blade Runner

DVD NLHV 103/Dark City (Not included this quarter.)

Statutory Warning: Both of these films contain content which may be considered offensive. If this poses a problem, please consider taking another class. Note: feel free to discuss all content in class.

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Outside Resource:

The Writing Center at the Odegaard Library

Offerings:

~one-to-one sessions

(http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/signup.php (Links to an external site.))

~research consultations

(http://lib.washington.libcal.com/booking/owrc (Links to an external site.))

~small groups for English Language Learners (ELL) (https://depts.washington.edu/owrc/programs.php#4 (Links to an external site.)) 

Be sure to provide the course name and number, as well as my name, when you schedule your appointment so that I can give you extra credit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Attendance and Participation:

Your participation evaluation includes finishing all readings and viewings before their assigned class. Class discussions are key to developing your ideas. Asking questions and taking notes will help you to generate ideas for your papers. Regular participation is required, as is bringing two written (printed—not hand-written) questions or comments pertaining to our day’s readings/viewings to each class session. We will discuss your questions and comments either as a class or in small groups. Your hardcopies will be handed in at the beginning of class. Anyone who comes to class late will not receive credit for the homework, unless we have a prior agreement. If you have an issue with arriving on time, please speak with me.

One Office Visit is required as part of your participation grade. That said, you are always welcome to come to my office hours. I am very happy to meet with you and discuss our texts, your ideas/questions, and your writing. If my hours do not jive with your class schedule, please email me and we will figure out a time that does.

 

Response Papers/Presentations:

During the quarter you will write three 1-2 page (350-500 words) response papers that address our chosen texts.  I will provide the topics. The response papers will hopefully guide your essay writing in the course. I will call on all of you throughout the quarter to present a summary of your argument to the class and entertain critical questions from your peers. Your response papers must be uploaded onto the Canvas site by the time and date stated on the schedule.

 

Formal Writing Assignments:

~You will write two thesis statements, one for each of your essays. They must include a question that you are posing in relationship to your chosen texts (I use the term text to refer to both literary and cinematic narratives.), a brief and clearly stated claim based upon that question, and a ‘so-what’ statement. The ‘so-what’ statement is meant to explain what your question/claim provides, either in way of understanding your chosen texts or as a way of more generally considering a conundrum in life.

~You will then expound these thesis statements into two 5-7 page (1250-1750 words) comparative essays. All drafts less than 1250 words will be docked 10% of the assigned points. Note that it is easier to write a longer paper, as a short paper requires much more clarity and concision so as to convey the necessary analytical arc.

~Since writing is a process, for each essay you will first write a full-length rough draft, which will be extensively peer-reviewed. With the help of the peer reviews, and additional help if you choose, you will then write and submit a revised draft. I will then comment on extensively this second draft, after which you will write a final draft. All of these drafts must be uploaded onto Canvas and you will also need to bring three hard copies of the rough draft to class for the purpose of the peer reviews.

~All drafts should be formatted according to the MLA formatting requirements.

 

Regarding all written work:

In order to maintain an equitable class, no late work is accepted, unless cleared with me. Even if you are absent from class, your work is still due as scheduled.

 

Accommodations:

Students requesting accommodations for this class are encouraged to make an appointment to see me during my office hours to discuss their needs. You can also contact Disability Resources for Students: 11 Mary Gates Hall; (206) 543-8924; uwdrs@uw.edu.

 

Plagiarism:

Plagiarism, or academic dishonesty, is presenting someone else's ideas or writing as your own. In your writing for this class, you are required to incorporate evidence and cite that evidence. Any student found to have plagiarized will immediately be reported to the College of Arts and Sciences for review. Please see: http://depts.washington.edu/grading/conduct/honesty.html (Links to an external site.). 

 

Grading:
Class Participation: 35%
Response Papers: 15% (Each 5%)
Thesis 5%
Long essays: 45% (First 20%, Second 25%) Use Writing Center for extra credit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Class Schedule: (Subject to change. All changes will be either emailed and/or posted on Canvas.)

 

Week One:

Mar 30:  Course Introduction.

Apr 1: Read Genesis to pg 55.

Apr 3: No Class. Read Genesis to pg 112. Due: Response Paper #1: See prompt posted on Canvas.Upload by Friday 10pm. *(Instructor Note: email “Technology in Science Fiction” and “Othering 101” articles by Sunday evening.)

 

Week Two:

Apr 6: Finish reading Genesis.

Apr 8: Two Secondary Readings: Technology in Science Fiction and “Othering 101.” ‘Due:’ Watch Blade Runner (available at the Media Center at Suzzallo). Discuss “Othering 101,” Genesis and Blade Runner.

 

Week Three:

April 14: Introduction: The Stories of Ibis. Read to page 54 or to “Intermission 2.” Due: Response Paper #2 (Brief comparison of our three ‘texts’ from the perspective of the secondary readings.) 

Apr 16:  Read The Stories of Ibis to page 91 or to “Story 3, Mirror Girl.” Thesis workshop.

 

Week Four:

Apr 21: Due: Thesis and Rough Draft, Essay #1. Peer Review workshop. Bring 3 printed copies to class.

Apr 23: Read The Stories of Ibis to page 151 or to “Intermission 5.”

Due: Revised Draft Essay #1 Upload by Sunday April 26, 10pm.

 

Week Five:

Apr 28: Read The Stories of Ibis to190 or to “Intermission 6.” (We are skipping Story 6)

Apr 30: Read The Stories of Ibis pages 288-352 or from “Intermission 7 to the line “At this time we were at Hadley Apennine.”

Due: Response Paper #3. Upload by Friday May 1, by 10pm.

 

Week Six:

May 5: Finish The Stories of Ibis.

May 7: Watch film in class. Read 4 brief secondary texts (I will email essays by Saturday evening.)

Due: Final Draft Essay #1. Upload by Sunday May 10, 10pm.

 

Week Seven:

May 12: Read The Windup Girl to page 65 or to Chapter 6. Discuss film, secondary texts, and book.

May 14: Read The Windup Girl to page 116 or to Chapter 11. Thesis workshop.

                    

Week Eight:

May 19: Due: Thesis and Rough Draft Essay #2. Peer Review workshop. Bring 3 printed copies to class.

May 21: Read The Windup Girl to page 181 or to Chapter 18.

 

Week Nine:

May 26: Class. Read The Windup Girl to page 251 or to Chapter 29.

May 28: Read The Windup Girl to page 309 or to Chapter 38. Due: Revised Draft Essay #2. Upload by Wednesday 10pm. 

 

Week Ten:

Jun 2: Finish The Windup Girl –to page 359. 

Jun 4: Last day of class. Concluding discussion touching on the moments of awe in our various texts, as well as a final comparative discussion.

 

Week Eleven:

June 10: Due by 9am: Final Draft Essay #2 

 

 

Additional Details:

 

Any situation in which some men prevent others from

engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence.

                                                             Paulo Freire

Course Description:

Science fiction, fantasy science, and speculative fiction render the familiar unfamiliar and in so doing provide us, as readers, with the opportunity to perceive the world and ourselves in new ways.

In this course we will take advantage of this loosely grouped genre-mix's imaginative scope—in depicting utopic and dystopic societies—to consider portrayals of power and control, and the significance of language and symbols.  We will focus on rhetorics of individuality and collectivity and question how they are used to include or exclude. We will investigate representations of stewardship and ownership and their relationship to destruction and sustainability, as well as ponder instances of despair and euphoria. How do authors convey hope and meaning despite creating scenarios of immense destruction, totalitarianism, and pervasive futility?

We will engage in close readings and both class and small-group discussions to unpack our texts. We will consider these texts cross-culturally. How do the texts reflect different cultural perspectives? To guide our inquiry we will draw on a variety of critical methods, such as eco-criticism, feminism, and post-colonialism. To learn to write well is to learn to think clearly, a process that is greatly helped by engaging with the ideas of other thinkers.

Course Objectives:

The aim of C Lit 240 is to develop critical reading and academic writing skills by acquiring fluency in generating questions and articulating a point of view supported by textual evidence.

Required Texts:

Genesis. Bernard Beckett. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2006). ISBN: 978-0-547-22549-4. The UW Bookstore has this book. However, it is also available as an e-text on Amazon.com.

Shikasta: Re, Colonised Planet 5. Doris Lessing. (Vintage International) Paperback (1981). ISBN: 978-0-394-74977-8. Available at the UW Bookstore. 

The Stories of Ibis. Hiroshi Yamamoto. Vi Media. Paperback (2010). ISBN: 13: 978-1421534404. Available at the UW Bookstore. 

Additional Texts: These will be emailed to the class list. Make sure to update your email address and/or link your school email to your personal email.

Films:

Blade Runner (Final Cut, 2007). Available at the Media Center on the third floor of the Suzzallo Library. Must be viewed in the library. Please come with the correct call number: C Lit 240 B. 1.

Dark City (1998). The same availibility as above.

Statutory Warning: Both of these films contain content which may be considered offensive. If this poses a problem, please consider taking another class.

 
Catalog Description: 
Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements Met: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:20am
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