For our class Wednesday, May 3

Please make sure that you bring the completed Final Project Proposal to class on Wednesday.  If you are working on a creative response to one of the short stories we have read, the FINAL DRAFT of your creative project was DUE MONDAY, MAY 1.  If you did not turn in your final draft on Monday, please bring it to class on Wednesday.

We will begin drafting the final project research essays later this week.  Therefore, it is never too early to have gathered and organized the textual evidence that you plan to use in your essay.  For guidelines on gathering textual evidence, you will want click here.

RWA7: Science Fiction Across Media

We have dedicated almost half of our course to reading, studying, and thinking about 20th c. science fiction in print media.  While our next three classes will be dedicated to a consideration of science fiction in non-print media with a focus on film media, given the short amount of time we have to dedicate to this exploration, there is no way it will be as thorough as even our introductory investigation of print-based 20th c. science fiction in the U.S.  Nevertheless, we all know how important non-print media is to the genre of science fiction and it is my hope that you will continue your study of that subject in future classes.

For this unit, I hope to give you some basic information about how to read a film and what some of the differences are in analyzing print-based, or verbal, and film-based, or visual, texts.  To that end, I have put together some readings that will help lay out the basic terminology for analyzing films and a few of the key issues involved in such an analysis.

Overall, we will continue to use our “What, How, Why, So What?” Model of Textual Description, Analysis, and Interpretation¬†even though the texts we will be studying are films, not printed short stories. ¬†While several¬†“Elements of Fiction,” can be used to discuss non-print texts, when it comes to the technical analysis of film and how meaning is constructed in film, there are significant differences across media. ¬†I leave it up to you to decide how involved in learning about and understanding the “Elements of Film” you wish to be. ¬†Should you decide to use a non-print text as the focus for your final project, you may need to become quite involved with these elements. ¬†However, if you do not decide to do that, I invite you to dedicate your time in this unit to thinking about the similarities and differences between print and non-print media in relation to what you already know about the “Elements of Fiction” and the¬†properties and affordances of verbal language.

For our next class, please read¬†¬†“The Language of Film” by Michael Wohl (2008), re-read Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” and watch and take notes on Total Recall (1990). ¬†Afterwards, in your Reading Journal, please write about your experience of watching this film after reading the story, paying particular attention to the SIMILARITIES and DIFFERENCES between the How and Why of the texts in different media and your experiences of reading each. ¬†Finally, for the purpose of class discussion, please choose one scene from the story to discuss in relation to the film.

RWA4: Reading Bradbury, Bester, and Asimov

RWA4.1: Reading Bradbury, Bester, and Asimov

Please print out copies of the Bester and Asimov short stories (copies of Bradbury’s short story were distributed in class).¬†Please read all three¬†texts from start to finish. ¬†Then, briefly write about your response to each in your reading journal. ¬†Afterward, please read each¬†again, this time taking notes and attending to the story’s¬†elements as a fictional text¬†(plot, character, setting, narrative perspective, figurative language, themes) more carefully, its relationships to various issues related to science fiction as a genre and to some recurring¬†elements or properties of science fiction texts.¬† Afterward, please write some more about each story and the essay, what you now understand about them, and questions that you have about them, making sure to attend to the What, How, Why, So What? elements of each.

Finally, please select one reading question related to the Bester story and one to the Asimov story and post your response to both as comments on this post BY MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY, MARCH 5. 

Though not required, please feel free to post links that you may have consulted in the process of reading the stories and why you found them helpful. ¬†What is required is that you read the texts carefully, write about them¬†in your reading journal, and think about them¬†in the context of our class discussions, Delany’s fiction and criticism, Russ’s “The Second Inquisition,” Pohl’s “Day Million,” Philip K. Dick‚Äôs short story¬†‚ÄúWe Can Remember It For You Wholesale,‚Ä̬†our discussions about that story, the issues and topics raised in the ‚ÄúIntroduction‚ÄĚ to the¬†Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction¬†and the collection of responses gathered in¬†‚ÄúWhy Do You Read Science Fiction.‚Ä̬†¬†We will be discussing the stories¬†and your reading questions¬†in our next class session.

RWA4.2: Literary Studies and SF Keywords: Please select five terms related to the elements of fiction and five terms related to SF studies and define them.  You can post your definitions as a comment on the SF Keywords post or print out a copy of these and hand them in to me next Monday.

RWA3: Reading Delany’s Fiction and Criticism and Responding to Course Questions

There are two parts to this week’s assignment:

Part 1/RWA3.1: Reading Delany’s Fiction and Criticism and Part 2/RWA3.2: Responding to Course Questions. ¬†Both are DUE BY MIDNIGHT TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21.

RWA3.1:¬†Reading Delany’s Fiction and Criticism

Please print out a copy of Samuel¬†Delany’s short story ‚ÄúTime Considered as a Helix of Precious Stones‚ÄĚ (1969)¬†and his 1968 essay¬†‚ÄúAbout 5,750 Words‚ÄĚ (1968)¬†¬†Please read both texts from start to finish. ¬†Then, briefly write about your response to each in your reading journal. ¬†Afterward, please read both again, this time taking notes and attending to the story’s¬†elements as a fictional text¬†(plot, character, setting, narrative perspective, figurative language, themes) more carefully, its relationships to various issues related to science fiction as a genre and to some recurring¬†elements or properties of science fiction texts, and in what ways specific elements of this story may relate to Delany’s essay about the writing and study of fiction. ¬†¬†Afterward, please write some more about each story and the essay, what you now understand about them, and questions that you have about them.

Finally, please post three paragraphs in response to this post BY MIDNIGHT, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, the first briefly summarizing Delany’s story and describing it in terms of its elements as a fictional text, the second briefly summarizing Delany’s essay, the third explaining what you found most interesting about each text and how the two texts may relate to one another. ¬†[Please note: if it is easier to write about each text separately, feel free to use the third paragraph to write about Delany’s story and add a fourth for the essay] ¬†Finally, feel free to post one to three questions that you have about the texts.

Though not required, please feel free to post links that you may have consulted in the process of reading the stories and why you found them helpful. ¬†What is required is that you read the two texts carefully, write about them¬†in your reading journal, and think about them¬†in the context of our class discussions, Russ’s “The Second Inquisition,” Pohl’s “Day Million,” Philip K. Dick‚Äôs short story¬†‚ÄúWe Can Remember It For You Wholesale,‚Ä̬†our discussions about that story, the issues and topics raised in the ‚ÄúIntroduction‚ÄĚ to the¬†Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction¬†and the collection of responses gathered in¬†‚ÄúWhy Do You Read Science Fiction.‚Ä̬†¬†We will be discussing the storiy and essay and your responses to both in our next class session.

RWA3.2: Responding to Course Questions: Please PRINT OUT a copy of our “Course Questions: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017”¬† ¬†Read over the 26 questions. ¬†Professor Rodgers has suggested that these 26 questions fall into five broad categories: ¬†C1/ definitions of literary terms,¬†C2/ definitions of SF terms/keywords,¬†C3/ questions related to Russ’s and Pohl’s stories,¬†C4/ discussion questions related to reading and interpreting science fiction texts,¬†C5/ questions about course assignments. ¬†Make a note of which category you would assign to each of the 26 questions. ¬†Of the questions that you have categorized as belonging to C1, C2, or C3, select 3 questions to respond to and post your responses as a reply to this post.

For extra credit: If you are responding to a question related to defining an SF studies term/keyword (C2), also post your definition as a reply to the SF Keywords Post. ¬†If you are responding to a question related to Russ’s and/or Pohl’s story, also post your response as a reply to the Reading Russ/Pohl Post.

RWA2: Reading Pohl’s “Day Million” and Russ’s “The Second Inquisition”

Please print out a copy of Frederick Pohl‚Äôs short story ‚ÄúDay Million‚ÄĚ and Joanna Russ‚Äôs short story ‚ÄúThe Second Inquisition.‚ÄĚ ¬†Please read both stories from start to finish. ¬†Then, briefly write about your response to each in your reading journal. ¬†Afterward, please read both stories again, this time taking notes and attending to some of their elements as fictional texts (plot, character, setting, narrative perspective, figurative language, themes) more carefully, their historical and authorial contexts, and their relationships to various issues related to science fiction as a genre and to some recurring elements or properties of science fiction texts. ¬†Afterward, please write some more about each story, what you now understand about it, and questions that you have about it.

Finally, please post three paragraphs in response to this post BY MIDNIGHT, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, the first briefly summarizing Pohl’s story and describing it in terms of its elements as a fictional text, the second briefly summarizing Russ’s story and describing it in terms of its elements as a fictional text, the third explaining what you found most interesting about each story.  [Please note: if it is easier to write about each text separately, feel free to use the third paragraph to write about Pohl’s story and add a fourth for Russ’s story.]  Finally, feel free to post one to three questions that you have about the stories or that you would like to pose to the authors of the stories.

Though not required, please feel free to post links that you may have consulted in the process of reading the stories and why you found them helpful. ¬†What is required is that you read the stories carefully, write about them¬†in your reading journal, and think about them¬†in the context of our class discussions, Philip K. Dick‚Äôs short story ‚ÄúWe Can Remember It For You Wholesale,‚ÄĚ our discussions about that story, the issues and topics raised in the ‚ÄúIntroduction‚ÄĚ to the Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction and the collection of responses gathered in ‚ÄúWhy Do You Read Science Fiction.‚ÄĚ ¬†We will be discussing the stories and your responses to them in our next class session.

Course Questions, Wesleyan “Introduction” and “Why Do You Read Science Fiction”

1/ Please read over Professor Rodgers’ responses to the questions about our course posted on the OpenLab site:¬†https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/sciencefiction-rodgers-spring2017/2017/01/31/questions-about-our-course/

If you still have questions after reading through these posts, please bring them to class on Wednesday.

2/ Re-read pp. 15-17 of the “Introduction” to the Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. ¬†Make a list of some of the key elements of science fiction mentioned.

3/ Review your contribution to “Why Do You Read Science Fiction?” in relation to Some Elements of Fiction and Some Elements of Science Fiction (in process) and the Dick story. ¬†Be prepared to discuss all four texts in our next class.

RWA1: Reading Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”

Please print out a copy of Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” which was published in 1966. ¬†Read the story from start to finish. ¬†Then, briefly write about your response to the story in your Reading Journal. ¬†Afterward, please read the story again, this time taking notes on the story and attending to some of its elements (plot, character, theme, setting, figurative language, narration strategies) more carefully, its historical and authorial context, and its relationship to various issues related to science fiction as a genre and science fiction studies as laid out in the “Introduction” to the Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. ¬†Afterward, please write some more about the story, what you now understand about it, and questions that you have about it.

Finally, please post one paragraph in response to this post BY NOON, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, describing what you found most interesting about the story and one to three questions that you have about it.

Though not required, please feel free to post links that you may have consulted in the process of reading the story and why you found them helpful.  What is required is that you read the story carefully, write about it in your reading journal, and think about it in the context of the issues raised in the Introduction to the Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, and then post some of your thoughts about it.  We will be discussing the story in our next class session.