CHASS Connect: 2009-2010 Sequences

(Fulfills Literature, Social Science, and Fine Arts)

What lies ahead: economic and political chaos, gender and racial equality? These three courses will examine politicized visions of the future. Through analysis of literary, political and economic depictions of the future, students will forecast their own potential futures.

Fall 2009
Professor Latham
The Politics of the Future

We will examine the ways in which the future functions as a political concept, a way of defining issues and mobilizing citizens in the present day. Specifically, we will examine writings about the future produced from the 1950s through the 1980s, ranging from works of science fiction to popular futurology, from academic predictions to hippie tracts. Our goal will be to see how the future was used in these works as an alluring or threatening ideological fiction, a means of containing or unleashing political possibilities.

Winter 2010
Professor Ho
The Feminine Fantastic: Gender, Science Fiction, and Futurity

This course investigates the issues of gender and difference in science fiction by examining narratives written by women. We will explore how gender and sexuality operate in these visions of possible futures and how women writers articulate notions of humanity, "alien encounters," social difference, and sustainability.

Spring 2010
Professor Davis
The Future is Another Planet

If science fiction was the moral imagination of the 20th century, then recent scientific scenarios measure the extraordinary challenges that civilization will face during the 21st century. As students, you will explore your own possible futures as forecast in reports by the World Bank, United Nations Habitat, FAO, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CIA, and other institutions. The future is an intricate maze; can we find our way out?