September 3

Introduction. Genre definitions and anti-definitions. Not discussed: genre generalities from Aristotle, Rick Altman, and John Frow.
Blogging assignment.

September 10

Guillory, Bourdieu, Lamont/Lareau. Changing the syllabus; reproducing inequality; SF in the course catalogue.

Selected Rutgers course catalogue pages. A few pages from Rutgers–NB course catalogues (1867–70, 1950–51, 1970–72, and Livingston 1971–72). Not discussed in class, but instructive to look over. The scans are by courtesy of University Archives and Special Collections.

September 17

Wells. Genre labels for The Time Machine; Wells’s cultural capital. Not discussed: cartoon heads from 1,000,000 A.D. and the discourse of degeneration.

September 24

Early Pulps. The whole early twentieth century in a single week; what expanding U.S. literacy looked like; fiction magazine titles; Asimov as young reader.

October 1

Pohl and Kornbluth. “Do You Make These Common Mistakes in English?” Not discussed in class (but see AG’s post hoc remarks on the blog: Kingsley Amis’s choice of the novel as exemplary; Pohl recalling his collaboration with Kornbluth.

October 8

Le Guin (1). No handout distributed.

October 14 (sic)

Le Guin (2), rescheduled from October 15. Key passages from English’s Economy of Prestige and a noteworthy comment from Le Guin on the SF community in 1975. Not discussed except implicitly: Lepenies on the “third culture” of sociology. Also not discussed: two images of The Dispossessed from the 1975 Aussiecon program book: an ad depicting the cover of the Pantheon edition (note the total inappropriateness of the image) and a fan-made illustration of the Cetian worlds.

(October 16)

The paper assignment. Abstract due on the blog Nov. 5; initial writing due Nov. 23; presentations in seminar, Dec. 10; paper due Jan. 15.

October 22

Gibson. Gibson on style; two versions of contextualizing Gibson in late capitalism.

October 29

Butler (1). “Octavia warned us” and the unbearable realism of Parable; where is race in Butler’s SF career?

November 5

Butler (2). Parable as (briefly) a bestseller; two contexts for guns.

November 12

Zahn: canonically, there was no handout. Han(dout) shot first. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Etc.

November 19

Ishiguro. Ishiguro’s affinities; readings of Never Let Me Go athwart SF.