ANG6157 Studies in Popular Literature
Winter 2016

Science-Fiction and Fantasy


This course will explore the intersection of fantasy and science fiction to engage with gender representations and popular culture. The latter has a fraught place in academe, with its potentially derogative qualitative label on works of literature and other media (the so-called ‘high’ and ‘low’ labels). Students will be exposed to a range of writings from the 1960s to the present in a critical framework that includes cultural studies, new media studies, and gender studies. Discussions will also include 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 15′-18′ / 2,500-2,800 words (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 question to Jason Haslam on 9 February (10%)
  • Revised and expanded version of one of the in-class presentations to be delivered during a day-long conference on Tuesday 19 April (25′-30′ / 3,500-4,500 words (excluding notes and works cited): 30%) [Final versions of the presentations must be emailed to the instructor no later than 6pm on Friday 15 April.] Students should bear in mind that, this time, the grade will be based on the version delivered during the conference.


  • Monday 11 January: Introduction
  • Monday 18 January: Ursula LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Monday 25 January: Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ Watchmen
  • Monday 1 February: Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games 
  • Monday 8 February: Samuel Delany’s Flight of Neveryon 
  • Extra class meeting: Tuesday 9 February @ 10am: Lecture by Jason Haslam on Flight of Neveryon
  • Monday 15 February: Octavia Butler’s Fledgling 
  • Monday 22 February: Class cancelled
  • Monday 29 February: Reading Week
  • Monday 7 March: Class cancelled
  • Monday 14: Julia Golding’s Mel Foster and the Demon Butler 
  • Extra class meeting: Tuesday 15 March: Viewing of Galaxy Quest and one episode of Humans
  • Monday 21 March: Ian Tregillis’ The Mechanical 
  • Monday 28 March: Easter Monday
  • Monday 4 April: John Scalzi’s Redshirts
  • Monday 11 April: Revision work @ home
  • Tuesday 19 April: Day-long Conference

Secondary Criticism:









This content has been updated on January 4, 2020 at 22 h 10 min.