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  • Module AMS 3011 AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION Dr Lorna JowettMODULE GUIDE2005 - 20061

CONTENTSPAGEIntroduction 2 Learning Outcomes3 Teaching and Learning Strategy3 Seminar Schedule 4 Core Texts 5 Coursework Requirements5 Coursework Submission Dates5 Coursework Titles6 Plagiarism 6 Referencing7 Video Availability and Copying 7 Suggested Resources7 Supplementary Reading and Viewing112 IntroductionThis course aims to explore recurrent themes (e.g. the utopian ideal) and representations (e.g. of aliens, of gender) and their development in U.S. science fiction, and to examine how these relate to concerns in American society. Different types of science fiction texts (films, television shows), and the nature of interaction within the genre, and with other fields will be studied. The module has been designed to challenge assumptions about science fiction, but also to capitalize on stimulating material and to relate science fiction themes to existing knowledge about U.S. society and culture. Thus the thematic structure of the module allows a range of key issues to be examined in depth, focussing on a core of texts but with reference to larger generic and social contexts. Analytical content is stressed, as appropriate at level three, and in particular the module helps develop critical analysis and the application of theory. Module Coordinator and Contact DetailsLorna Jowett (MR76b) lorna.jowett@northampton.ac.uk Tel: x3294, direct dial 01604 893294 Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of the module students will be able to:Knowledge and Understandinga) recognise recurring themes and how they function within the genre of sciencefictionb) analyse and discuss key issues in American science fictionc) identify and explain the relevance of materials and concepts drawn from anappropriate range of disciplinesSubject - specific Skillsd) creatively use a variety of materials, methods and discourses in theexamination of themes in American science fictione) deploy critical perspectives drawn from the study of science fiction, film,literary or cultural theoryf) synthesise ideas from a range of sourcesKey Skillsg) communicate complex ideas clearly and accurately in both written and oralforms3 h) function effectively as a member of the group in facilitating individualresponsesi) demonstrate an openness to consider different approaches to a problem. Teaching and Learning Strategy TEACHING, LEARNING + ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIESSTUDYHOURS24 x 2 hour seminars48Seminar preparation and reading (24 x 4 hours)961 x 2,500 word essay30Exam revision 26TOTAL 200Assessment strategy*and assessment criteria:ASSESSMENT ITEMSUNITSWEIGHT- LEARNINGING OUTCOMES 1 x 2,500 word essay2.550% a,b,c,d,e,f,g, h,i 1 x Exam (2 hour) 2.550% a,b,c,d,e,f,g, h,i4 Seminar Schedule AUTUMN TERM Week 1: 3/10 Introduction: What is SF? Week 2: 10/10Screening: The Terminator Week 3: 17/10Utopia/ DystopiaCore texts: Star Trek: TOS; The Terminator; Blade RunnerSupplementary texts: THX1138 Week 4: 24/10Screening: Alien Week 5: 31/10Corporate FuturesCore texts: Alien; The TerminatorSupplementary texts: Dark Angel; Rollerball; Robocop Week 6: 7/11 Screening: Blade Runner Week 7: 14/11EcologyCore texts: Star Trek: TOS; AlienSupplementary texts: Silent Running; Soylent Green; 12 Monkeys;Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Week 8: 21/11Screening: 2001: Space Odyssey Week 9: 28/11The CityCore texts: Blade Runner; Babylon 5Supplementary texts: Metropolis; Logans Run; Week 10: 5/12Virtual SpacesCore texts: Blade RunnerSupplementary texts: Tron; The Matrix; Dark City Week 11: 12/12 Essay Tutorials SPRING TERM Week 1: 9/1Genre: What is SF? DefinitionsCore text: 2001 Week 2: 16/1 Genre: What is SF? Narrative and FormCore texts: Star Trek: TOS; Babylon 5; The X-FilesWeek 3: 23/1 The Development of the AlienCore texts: The X-Files; Alien; Babylon 5 Supplementary texts: The Day the Earth Stood Still; Invasion ofthe Body Snatchers; Close Encounters; E.T.Week 4: 30/1 Alien/ OtherCore texts: Star Trek: TOS; The X-FilesSupplementary texts: Alien Nation; Men in Black; Brother FromAnother Planet Week 5: 6/2Early Androids, Robots, A.I.sCore texts: 2001, Star Trek: TOSSupplementary texts: Metropolis; Forbidden Planet; Star Wars Week 6: 13/2 Postmodern Androids, Robots, Cyborgs, A.I.sCore texts: Alien; The Terminator; Blade RunnerSupplementary texts: Robocop; Star Trek: TNG Week 7: 20/2 Gender in SF to 1970Core texts: Star Trek: TOS; 2001Supplementary texts: Queen of Outer Space, Barbarella 5 Week 8: 27/2 Gender in SF from 1970Core texts: The X-Files; The Terminator; Alien; Babylon 5Supplementary texts: Aliens; Terminator 2 Week 9: 6/3Reproduction in SFCore texts: Alien; The X-FilesSupplementary texts: Species; Gattaca; Alien Resurrection; DarkAngel Week 10: 13/3Reproduction, Generic Hybridity and FandomCore texts: Star Trek: TOS; Alien; The X-FilesSupplementary texts: Galaxy Quest; the Alien series Week 11: 20/3Exam briefing Week12: 27/3 Exam revision sessionSUMMER TERM From Exam revision Week 1: 23/4 Core Texts This course will not have texts scheduled each week, but has a core of texts which will be referred to throughout. To allow students to make progress in assimilating the core materials, the first sessions will be more general. Film screenings will be incorporated into the initial weeks of the course.2001 (MGM, 1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick, 139 mins. Alien (Twentieth Century Fox/ Brandywine, 1970), dir. Ridley Scott, 117 mins. Blade Runner: the directors cut (The Ladd Company/ Columbia Tristar, 1991), dir. Ridley Scott, 112 mins. The Terminator (Orion Pictures Corporation, 1984), dir. James Cameron, 108 mins.Star Trek: The Original Series 1966-1969 The X-Files 1993-2002 Babylon 5 1994-19986 Coursework Requirements1 x (2,500) word essay.1 x 2 hour exam.NB Essay topics are taken from Autumn term sessions; exam topics will be taken from Spring term sessions. Students are reminded that they must not repeat work from coursework in the exam. Coursework Submission DatesExtensions for coursework will be granted only when proper documentation is provided. Work submitted late without an extension within one week of the deadline will receive a maximum grade of D-. Work submitted over one week late without an extension will receive a grade of G.Essay: Monday 16 January 2006.Exam:Summer Term. Coursework TitlesEssay Topics Autumn TermAll questions refer to American science fiction. Texts is used to mean either film or television.1. Do modern science fiction texts figure America as predominantly dystopian?Why?2. What elements influence the dystopian vision of The Terminator?3. Science fiction texts offer a mirror of and access to our increasingly complexcultural landscape (Telotte, 2001). Discuss with reference to at least one sciencefiction representation of a corporate future.4. What place does ecology have in a genre that is primarily associated with scienceand technology (science fiction)?5. Is American science fiction predominantly concerned with urban issues?6. Do science fiction texts use space (physical or otherwise) to reflect social issuesand divisions?NB Essay topics are taken from Autumn term sessions; exam topics will be taken from Spring term sessions. Students are reminded that they must not repeat work from coursework in the exam. 7 PlagiarismThe college unequivocally condemns plagiarism (see American Studies Handbook) and defines it thus: The college defines plagiarism as the incorporation by a student in work for assessment of material which is not their own in the sense that all or a substantial part of the work has been copied without any attempt at attribution or has been incorporated as if it were the students own when in fact it is wholly or substantially the work of another person. Plagiarism (presenting other peoples work as your own) is unacceptable and will be penalised. Plagiarism is not only a question of deliberately submitting or copying someone elses work in order to deceive the marker; failing to adequately acknowledge when you have quoted from or closely paraphrased one of your sources can also be interpreted as plagiarism. Therefore it is extremely important that you reference your work properly and thoroughly and that you provide a full and correctly presented bibliography with every written piece of work. PLAGIARISM WILL BE DETECTED AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED ON THIS MODULE. ReferencingYour essay should be accurately referenced according to the guidelines in the American Studies Handbook (also available on web board). Thus you will be expected to cite the titles of texts correctly (titles of novels or monographs in italics; titles of poems, articles or short stories in quotation marks), to reference all quotations and sources giving (author, date, page) in parentheses after the quotation and to provide a full bibliography at the end of your essay. Video availability and copyingAll the films on the schedule should be available in multiple copies in the library and can be watched in the library or borrowed overnight. There is at least one copy of each film in the short loan section of the library where there are also viewing facilities. If you require your own copy of a particular film for research or presentation purposes, the library will make one if you provide a tape. Suggested ResourcesJOURNAL ARTICLES are not included. You will be expected to conduct your own searches for relevant journal material. NB The library carries Extrapolation, a major American sf journal (from 2002). I have my own subscription to Foundation, the major UK sf journal (from 2002), and can lend volumes out as appropriate.Items marked with an * ARE in my own collection but may NOT be in the library. 8 This is NOT an exhaustive list.UTOPIA/ DYSTOPIA Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (London: Routledge, 2003)*. Tom Moylan Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (New York: