The American author Octavia E. Butler once wrote: “There is nothing new under the sun; but there are new suns.” This ability to up-end what we consider possible and to allow us to imagine differently is the hallmark of speculative fiction. In this class we will read contemporary literature that makes use of this radical capacity in order to challenge the oppressive structures of race, gender, colonialism/settler colonialism, and capitalism that we currently live under. By tackling the social injustices of the present, the writers we will read invite us to imagine our futures differently.

This sampling class will give you an introduction to 21st-century science fiction. Assessment (presentations, short written responses, and group projects) is based on consistent participation and engagement throughout the semester, rather than a final paper.