HPS4023H: Brave New Worlds: Science + Fiction (Please note the course code has changed.)
Thursdays 12 - 2 Classroom Location: NF 009
Course Description: During the last two centuries science fiction (SF) has become the mythology of modern societies, and the very name of this literary genre points unambiguously to science as their acknowledged linchpin. Every mythology offers a deep insight into the mores and morals, heroes and villains, structures and strictures, dreams and taboos of the society that produced it. This graduate research seminar explores SF as a particular lens for the understanding of both the historical development of modern sciences and the role of science and scientific knowledge in the historical development of modern societies. It is structured thematically around a series of classic SF novels and speculative writings by eminent scientists, but focused on students carrying out independent research projects that examine one of the major themes addressed in the readings, from aliens, androids, and AI to evolution, eugenics, ET, and beyond. The seminar concludes with a workshop where students present their research projects to the audience of their peers.