ANG6157 Studies in Popular Literature
Fall 2017

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Science-Fiction (“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed »)


This course will explore the intersections between popular culture and science fiction. While arguably born at the turn of the nineteenth century, popular culture as a genre truly exploded in the mid twentieth century with the advent of comics, cinema, and television. In this course, students will read a range of texts that reflect this evolution and consider the current value of popular culture and science fiction using different critical approaches. The course will also consider the invasion of technology in mainstream works, and the parodic elements inherent in popular culture. Finally, all the works considered in this course will demonstrate how popular culture constantly engages with contemporary historical and political issues.


  • Two 12′-15′ / 1,680-2,100 words (6-7.5 pages, double-spaced, excluding notes and works cited) in-class presentations on one of the works studied: 60% (30% each) [Final versions of the presentations must be emailed to the instructor no later than 6pm the night before.] Presentations should be on any aspect of the work under consideration on the day selected by the students. Students should bear in mind that the grade will be based on the written essay, not on the oral delivery.
  • One 15′ / 2,100 words (7.5 pages, excluding notes and works cited) presentation during the day-long conference to take place on Monday 11 December and Tuesday 12 December: 40%. The topic of this presentation has to be different from the other two done during the term. Students should bear in mind that this time the grade will be based only on the oral delivery. The conference will start at 9am on Monday and end at noon on Tuesday, including a plenary lecture by Brian Greenspan (Carleton University) on Monday @ 3.30pm. A title and short abstract (3-5 lines) are due on 27 November.


  • Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • William Gibson’s Neuromancer
  • Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ Watchmen
  • Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash
  • John Scalzi’s Redshirts
  • William Gibson’s The Peripheral


  • Monday 11 September: Introduction
  • Monday 18 September: Tutorial session
  • Monday 25 September: Dick
  • Monday 2 October: Gibson
  • Monday 9 October: Thanksgiving
  • Monday 16 October: Atwood
  • Monday 23 October: Reading Week
  • Monday 30 October: Moore and Gibbons
  • Monday 6 November: Stephenson
  • Monday 13 November: Tutorial session
  • Monday 20 November: Scalzi
  • Monday 27 November: Gibson
  • Monday 4 December: Tutorial session
  • Monday 11 December and Tuesday 12 December: Conference (room c-2059) [Conference Poster]

Monday 11 December

      • #1: Franceska Saint Juste: « The Overpowering of Technology, Troubled Identity and Globalization in Gibson’s Neuromancer »
        #2: Jesse Ternar: « Technological Control – An Analysis of the Dependence on Technology in Gibson’s Neuromancer« 
    • 10.15am-11.30pm:
      • #3: Harold Ivens: «  »Do Electric Sheep Owners Ever Eat? »
      • #4: Hoda Agharazi: « Humanity as a Social Construct in Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
      • #5: Rosemary Tassone: « Oh, the Humanity!: Cyborgs and Humans in Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?« 
    • 11.30pm-12.45pm: Lunch break
    • 12.45pm-2pm:
      • #6: Cate Payne: “Forked Paths: Peripheral as Paramount in Gibson’s The Peripheral
      • #7: Alexandre Desrochers Ayotte: « Contagion in Snow Crash: Diffusion theory and the sacred word »
      • #8: Laurence Dubois: « Power and Authority in Religion-Based Dystopias »
    • 2pm-3.15pm:
      • #9: Aurélie Roy: « Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the silent”: Speech, Silence, and Resistance in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Its 2017 Hulu Adaptation »
      • #10: Marceline Morais: “Is the Republic of Gilead a Totalitarian State? Reflections on the Political Framework of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
      • #11: Gabriella Colombo Machado: « There is power in naming: June and Offred in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale« 
    • 3.15pm-3.30pm: Break
    • 3.30pm-5pm: Plenary Lecture by Brian Greenspan: « Strange Cognitions: SF and the Metanovum » (room c-3061)

Tuesday 12 December

    • 9am-10.15am:
      • #12: Stéphanie Sihapanya: « Superheroes in Watchmen« 
      • #13: Gisele Mazraani: “Gilead, a Dystopia for Women and a Failed Utopia for Men”
      • #14: Jessica Pallotta: “Coping with Trauma; an Analysis of the Detrimental Effects of Traumatic Experiences in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
    • 10.15am-10.30am: Break
    • 10.30am-11.45pm:
      • #15: Ashley M. Maxwell: “The Realm of the Uncanny, Understanding Human Emotions in Relation to Humanoid Objects”
      • #16: Sukina Rezk: « The Significance of Empathy in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?« 
      • #17: Charles-Alex Bilodeau: “Considering the Mechanical Humanoid: Hive Mind, Soul and Consciousness”

Secondary Criticism:

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 18 décembre 2018 à 23 h 32 min.