CAAS 358 - Topics in Black World Studies
Section: 002 Race and Science Fiction
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Credits:
3
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

In a 1992 essay, “Space Traders,” legal/critical race theorist Derrick Bell asks us to consider what would happen if a mysterious group of aliens offered the United States amazing new technologies to clean up the environment, end poverty, cure illness and dramatically improve the quality of all, if and only if the country would be willing to hand over the entire African-American population in exchange. In this provocative example of the didactic potential of science fiction, Bell reminds us of the power of this distinctive genre to provide us with a dynamic arena for social analysis. This course explores the various ways in which science fiction, and the broader range of “speculative” fiction, has been used to explore the meanings of race, the realities of racism and the possibilities of transcending both. From visions of a race-less society to artistic dimensions of Afro-Futurism, a wide variety of authors have created imaginary worlds – in the past, the future and in alternative presents – to ask probing questions about race, difference and power in our own time. We will consider the ways in which ideas race and difference have helped to shape the evolution of science fiction in the United States, along with how African Americans and other people of color have attempted to adopt, adapt and reconfigure the genre for their own political and artistic ends. Our investigation will incorporate classic and contemporary literary works; film and television, including the Star Trek franchise; music and performance art (Sun Ra, Afrika Bambataa, DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid) and a variety of secondary sources. Throughout, we will also pay close attention to the intersections of race, gender and sexuality – themes of particular import in the works of Black science fictions writers Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany and Nalo Hopkinson – as well as to those utopian and dystopian visions that offer powerful critiques of social and economic inequality.

CAAS 358 - Topics in Black World Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
11037
Open
2
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Note: Dealing with the Best and Doing Justice in Africa.
002 (SEM)
P
23660
Open
2
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Note: Race and Science Fiction
003 (SEM)
P
28179
Open
15
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Section 003: Meets with Ling 394
004 (LEC)
 
28671
Open
22
 
-
Tu 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: Section 004: Meets with AC 301.005 and Hist 393
005 (DIS)
P
28672
Open
4
 
-
Tu 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: Section 005: Meets with AC 301.006 and Hist
006 (DIS)
P
28673
Open
15
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: Section 006: Meets with AC 301.007 and Hist
007 (DIS)
P
28674
Open
2
 
-
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: Section 007: Meets with AC 301.008 and Hist
009 (SEM)
P
32962
Open
5
 
-
W 4:00PM - 7:00PM
Note: Section 009: Meets with WS 342.
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for CAAS 358 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)