Finland, Helsinki

Science Fiction in Literature and Culture

when 4 August 2015 - 20 August 2015
duration 3 weeks
credits 5 ECTS
fee EUR 640

This course offers a concise view of the birth of science fiction as a literary genre, its development and its increasingly ambitious themes which both connect with and propose to change reality. Class topics include the history and definitions of science fiction, SF in different media (TV, films, games), the relationship between SF and natural and human sciences, and the study of SF fan culture. We will also look at central themes present in contemporary science fiction: identity politics, posthumanism and postcolonialism, and focus on some of the formal ways in which SF creates its weird worlds and temporalities.

Course leader

Ms. Kaisa Kortekallio

Target group

The course is designed for advanced undergraduates in all areas of academic enquiry who are interested in the study of science fiction literature and popular culture. The course approach is based in literary studies and cultural theory. To achieve the learning goals, the students need preliminary knowledge of the basic concepts and approaches in literary criticism. Students with no background in these areas are expected to catch up by reading the following book prior to the course: Peter Barry, (1995) 2009. Beginning Theory: Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, 3rd ed., Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press.

Course aim

The course aims to provide students with a general understanding of the history and specific characteristics of science fiction, as well as the effects SF has had on popular culture and cultural identities. After the course, the students can recognise and analyse the thematic and narrative functions of SF in various media, and will be able to provide a clear analysis of how these functions and their theoretical representations connect with ideas of art, society and the workings of human consciousness in specific works of science fiction.

Fee info

EUR 640: This course fee applies to degree and PhD students who pay the fee before June 1, 2015.