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Eric Rabkin
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
English
Fall 1991

Rabkin F 91 TTh 1:10-2:30
Office: 1632 HH TTh 3:00-4:00 & W 2:00-4:00 & By Appt 764-2553

MODERN FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION

ENGLISH 417 XX

This senior seminar, an intensive exploration of fantasy and science fiction prose published since 1960, is intended for students with prior knowledge of the field. The aims of the course will include at least enjoying the reading, learning about each work, studying the diverse forms these genres have recently taken, and understanding the reasons fantasy and science fiction are currently so popular. The course readings will begin with a set of works diverse in genre, in subject, and in the demographic characteristics of their authors. Throughout the course, students are to keep and exchange reading journals. Students will be assigned to reading groups that will study works of the students' own choice in order to widen each individual's background and to make that new knowledge available to the seminar as a whole. Each reading group will choose one work to add to our collective syllabus and will prepare a group paper explaining how and why that work was chosen. In the week for which we read those additional works, the choosing group will lead the seminar. Each student in that reading group will write an individual paper dealing with the recommended book. The course grade will come from the reading journal (30%), the group paper (20%), the individual paper (30%), and participation (20%).

Gabriel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Avon), 1967
Stanislaw Lem, His Master's Voice (Harcourt Brace), 1968
Philip K. Dick, Bladerunner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) (Ballantine), 1968
Doris Lessing, Memoirs of a Survivor (Random House), 1974
Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire (Ballantine), 1976
Anne McCaffrey, The White Dragon (Ballantine), 1978
Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (Pocket Books), 1980

SYLLABUS

Th 5 Sep Intro (review of syllabus and class structure; develop class roster of reading/leadership groups and phone numbers; discussion how groups may work together; explanation of grading criteria; discussion of short texts provided by the instructor)

T 10 Sep Discussion of short texts (up to 8 photocopied pages provided in class to each member of the seminar by each reading group); begin reading García Márquez

Th 12 Sep Discussion of texts previously provided by students; for seminar negotiation, bring copies for each person of tentative reading group lists; enumerate criteria of text acceptability

T 17 Sep Discussion of Garcia Márquez

Th 19 Sep Discussion of Garcia Márquez

T 24 Sep Discussion of Lem

Th 26 Sep Discussion of Lem; discuss how groups might lead class discussions

T 1 Oct Discussion of Dick led by Group A

Th 3 Oct Discussion of Dick led by Group A; group pprs due in sufficient copies for everyone (instructor copy should have individual drafts attached as appendices)

T 8 Oct Discussion of Disch led by Group B

Th 10 Oct Discussion of Disch led by Group B; discussion of group pprs & selection of remainder of syllabus led by instructor

T 15 Oct Discussion of Rice led by Group C; each group reports on how its book should be obtained

Th 17 Oct Discussion of Rice led by Group C

T 22 Oct Discussion of McCaffrey led by Group D; ppr proposals for Group A due

Th 24 Oct Discussion of McCaffrey led by Group D

T 29 Oct Discussion of Butler led by Group E; ppr proposals for Group B due

Th 31 Oct Discussion of Butler led by Group E

T 5 Nov Reading Group A leads discussion of its selection; drafts of individual Group A papers distributed to class; ppr proposals for Group C due

Th 7 Nov Reading Group A leads discussion of its selection; signed and annotated Group A draft papers returned

T 12 Nov Reading Group B leads discussion of its selection; drafts of individual Group B papers distributed to class; ppr proposals for Group D due; individual pprs for Group A due

Th 14 Nov Reading Group B leads discussion of its selection; signed and annotated Group B draft papers returned

T 19 Nov Reading Group C leads discussion of its selection; drafts of individual Group C papers distributed to class; ppr proposals for Group E due; individual pprs for Group B due

Th 21 Nov Reading Group C leads discussion of its selection; signed and annotated Group C draft papers returned

T 26 Nov Reading Group D leads discussion of its selection; drafts of individual Group D papers distributed to class; individual pprs for Group C due

Th 28 Nov Thanksgiving break

T 3 Dec Reading Group E leads discussion of its selection; drafts of individual Group E papers distributed to class; signed and annotated Group D draft papers returned

Th 5 Dec Reading Group E leads discussion of its selection; signed and annotated Group E draft papers returned; individual pprs for Group D due

T 10 Dec Last class: CRLT course evaluations, reflections on the semester's efforts; individual pprs for Group E due; reading journals and self-evaluations due

T XX Dec 4:00-6:00 Reading journals and uncollected papers available in 1632 HH 

WRITTEN WORK

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