ENG3403 D617 Fall 2017 – One Major Writer: Samuel R. Delany

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ENG3403 D617 Fall 2017 - One Major Writer: Samuel R. Delany
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Professor(s)
Department
English
Course Code
ENG3403
Semester / Year
Fall 2017
Course Description

ENG 3403 One Major Writer – Samuel R. Delany: Science Fiction and the City
Credit Hours: 3 credits (3 hours)

Prerequisite: ENG 1121

Course Description
In this course we will examine the life and work of one of America’s great science fiction writers, Samuel R. Delany, Jr. This course will provide an introduction to Delany’s writing in science fiction and other genres, and we will examine the literary, cultural, and historical influences behind his writing. Students will investigate Delany’s conception of science fiction and fantasy as “paraliterary” genres, as forms of writing which have often been constructed by academic critics as outside, beyond, or beneath, proper “literary” fiction. We will consider Delany’s role in the development of Afrofuturism, a field comprised of black artists whose work engages with themes of science fiction, fantasy, speculation and futurism (in visual art, literature, music, film and other media). Delany has also won awards for his writing on LGBTQ issues and the HIV/AIDS crisis, and often depicts transgressive sexuality in his work. His work serves as an important record of queer life before and after Stonewall, and he was one of the earliest fiction writers documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The texts assigned for this course represent a cross-section of Delany’s writing in science fiction, literary fiction, memoir, cultural studies and criticism. In particular we will focus on Delany’s contributions to science fiction, and the significance of his hometown, New York City, in his writing.

(Profile picture: Painting of the author by Mia Wolff. From Bread and Wine by Samuel R. Delany)