As a class, we are creating a crowdsourced annotated bibliography of race and science fiction in order to broaden our collective knowledge on this topic. Each student will conduct her own individual research on the topic, and will contribute four annotations to our class bibliography.
Annotations should be critical/evaluative. For each of your sources, you should provide the bibliographic information (MLA style) and then a brief summary + evaluation of its usefulness/relevancy for this topic / project (~150 words per source).
This project is related to the upcoming Fifth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium, whose theme is also Race and Science Fiction. Below is some of the framing of that Symposium, from its Call for Papers (CFP):
“People who say change is impossible are usually pretty happy with things just as they are.” –N. K. Jemisin, The City We Became
Science Fiction, on a fundamental level, is always about the here-and-now in which it is produced, because it is from that point the author extrapolates an imagined future or alternate reality. The long and hard fight for civil rights and the latest unfolding of that struggle in the Black Lives Matter movement and its alliances calls on us to recognize the powerful possibilities within Science Fiction to imagine change, especially those promoting social justice and equality by writers of color and Afrofuturists, as well as reckon with the field’s patterns of racism, resistance to inclusion, and lack of representation.
Topics with a connection to race and Science Fiction might include but are certainly not limited to:
- Histories of race and Science Fiction.
- Representation of race in Science Fiction.
- Representation of writers of color in the Science Fiction field.
- Inclusion or exclusion of readers and fans due to race.
- Issues of identity, including race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, etc.
- Subgenres and movements, such as Afrofuturism, Black science fiction, Indigenous Futurism, and speculative fiction by writers of color.
- Race, Science Fiction, and Music, such as Sun Ra, George Clinton, Janelle Monáe, and Outkast.
- Race and Comic Books
- Engagement with civil rights movements in Science Fiction explicitly or metaphorically.
- Pedagogical approaches to teaching race and Science Fiction or teaching about race with Science Fiction.
Class Google Doc
We will work collaboratively in a class Google Doc, so all work should be submitted there.
Your individual contributions to this class project are worth 10% of your final course grade. Both the product (final versions of your annotations) and the process (drafts of annotations, peer review, reflection, etc.) contribute to this grade. Please consult the Course Schedule for all key due dates, links, and workshops.
While I expect that you will consult many, many more sources as you research this topic, you must contribute a minimum of four annotated sources to this Class Annotated Bibliography (though more are always welcome!). Aim for current research (when relevant) and make sure to consult a variety of resources, such as novels, short stories, films, TV series, music, artwork, advertisements, books (chapters/excerpts are acceptable), scholarly articles, newspaper/magazine articles, blogs, interviews, tweets, email exchanges.
As you research, make sure to take notes and annotate on the text. Keep track of all bibliographic information and also check out the bibliography/references of the sources you use … looking over what sources other researchers have used is a great way to find additional relevant material for your own research.
*If you are uncertain about the reliability (or viability) of a source for this project, you should consult me or a librarian.