“Arguably, one of the most familiar memes of science fiction is that of going to foreign countries and colonizing the natives, and […] for many of us, that’s not a thrilling adventure story, it’s non-fiction, and we are on the wrong side of the strange-looking ship that appears out of nowhere”, writes Canadian science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson.
What do science fiction stories look like when they are imagined from “the wrong side of the strange-looking ship”? How can science fiction be used to criticize the legacy of European colonial exploitation? How do science fiction’s tropes and conventions change in the hands of authors form, say, Africa, India, or the Caribbean? In exploring these questions, we will look at a variety of novels, short stories, and films. Along the way, we might also have to rethink what we mean when we say “science fiction” and we will also discuss what makes a particular story or author “postcolonial”.
We will discuss two novels, Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta Chromosome and Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, both of which you should purchase and read before the term starts. For our first session, we will discuss Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018) – if you haven’t seen the film yet, do so before our first meeting.
We will meet in double sessions every other week (starting on 23 October); this will not only give us the opportunity to delve deeply into the set texts, we will also be able to spend some time on reflecting on your reading and research strategies, as well as on developing ideas for your research paper.
The course is part of admission "Anmeldung gesperrt (global)".
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