Visions and Universes–Science Fiction

Instructor: Joseph Ugoretz
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10 PM
Macaulay Honors College, Online
Course Code: MHC 333

For most people today, Science Fiction is a term which usually applies to the movies. But we’re going to be considering Science Fiction as a literary genre (although we will be seeing a few films). We’re going to be looking at the place of Science Fiction in literature, and the literature in Science Fiction…but we’ll also be talking and thinking about Science Fiction’s place and role in popular culture. We’ll also look at connections between science and science fiction, and how the two feed on (and challenge and distress) each other. We’ll want to see how and why science fiction has become, in the words of author Thomas Disch, “the dreams our stuff is made of.”

If the visions of science fiction are visions of our universe, we’ll want to see what shapes and informs those visions, and how the different universes science fiction explores fit into (or become) our own universe.

The themes we’ll explore may include:

  • Time Travel
  • Alien Invasion/Contact
  • Biological/Genetic Manipulation
  • Cyberpunk
  • Alternative History
  • Space Opera/Future War
  • Post-Apocalypse
  • Utopia/Dystopia


Book Name Author ISBN
The Martian Andy Weir 0553418025
Hominids Robert J. Sawyer 0765392348
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Phillip K. Dick 0345404475
Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card 0812550706
Kindred Octavia Butler 0807083690
Underground Airline Ben Winters 0316261254
The Female Man Joanna Russ 0807062995

Plus other short stories freely available online.

Interested in this course? Please contact your advisor.

Joseph Ugoretz

Joseph Ugoretz
Senior Associate Dean and Chief Academic Officer

Macaulay Honors College
(212) 729-2920(212) 729-2920
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