ANTHRCUL 357 - Seminar in Sociocultural Anthropology
Section: 001 Anthropology through Science Fiction
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
A course in cultural anthropology and junior standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course will explore the overlap between science fiction (or speculative fiction) and cultural anthropology. What makes us human? What other ways of life are possible, and what is it like to live in other possible realities? What is it like to experience the world through different eyes? Over the semester we will be reading and talking about a wide variety of fictions. In this course we will be reading and analyzing a lot of (mainly fun) writing. Some of the questions we will be looking into are: how can imaginative worlds be used to question the bounds of our own social lives? What role can fiction play in a time when we are confronting the roles of science and technological change, as well as the extremes of fact and fiction? How might fictional worlds encode messages about a writer’s own social and cultural realities? We will dip into the works of anthropologically literate writers such as Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, and Samuel Delany to see how they have put their understanding of how cultures work to use in constructing alternative social worlds. We will also read works by writers from other countries and cultures, such as Yoss (Cuba) and Zamiatin (Soviet Union).

Course Requirements:

This is a discussion seminar, not a lecture class. Requirements will include doing the week’s reading in advance of class; posting discussion questions each week, in-class presentations, and three short papers.

ANTHRCUL 357 - Seminar in Sociocultural Anthropology
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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