Ariel E Wetzel
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
In this section of English 200, we will look at representations of the "cyborg" (cybernetic organism) in 20th and 21st century science fiction in order to examine humans' changing relationships with our techno-scientific creations. The selection of course texts will survey novels, short stories, films, and graphic novels that represent blurred boundaries between human and machine. Text selection may include: He, She, and It by Marge Piercy, Ghost in the Shell by Mamoru Oshii, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, "Johnny Mnemonic" by William Gibson, "Many Moons" by Janelle Monae, We3 by Grant Morrison, "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" by James Tiptree Jr., "The Ship Who Sang" by Anne McCaffrey, and "No Woman Born" by C.L. Moore. These texts will allow us to focus particularly on how the cyborg demands that we reassess our definitions of gender, race, ability, and species.
This course fulfills the University of Washington's W-requirement. It will include 10-15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing. You will learn the skill of "close reading" in order to critically analyze literature. You will write up to two claim-driven essays that interpret course texts; in these essays you will support your interpretation through analyzed and well-reasoned evidence. The course will also likely include in-class quizzes, presentations, and short writing assignments.
This is an introductory course, so no prior knowledge in science fiction or literary analysis is required.
You may need to purchase a course packet for short stories; novels will be available at the University Book Store.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading