This course aims to examine science fiction through some of its most influential works in the novel, short story, and film. Science fiction and film are the cultural forms that reflect how we understand our world. The possible worlds that science fiction writers and filmmakers predicted do not only offer to conceive some alternate systems but also represent contemplations on radical difference and otherness as well as the ideological nature of our social totality. This course examines how the imaginations of science fiction and film are connected to the historical and collective fantasy of our social world. The culture of science fiction and film, seemingly distanced from its social context, precisely serves as a critique of the latter, by ruminating on the ideological mechanism of virtual reality, human-machine, future institutions, alien races, and the nature of humanity. This course will not only assess the development of science fiction as a popular genre from the early decades of the twentieth century to the explosion of science fiction from the 1950s to the present, but it also traces back to the “proto-science fiction writers” of the renaissance and eighteenth century through the evolution of science fiction in the nineteenth century with Shelley, Poe, Verne, and others. In addition, the course will explore why the science fiction genre is missing in Chinese culture.


Science Fiction, Film and Culture