ENGB37: Popular Literature & Mass Culture

ENGB37: Popular Literature & Mass Culture



Course Name: Popular Literature & Mass Culture -- Apocalyptic Fictions

Instructor: Prof. Christine Bolus-Reichert

Course Description: Human beings have always tried to imagine the end of the world, much as they have the beginning. But end-of-the-world fictions did not become a significant part of English-speaking societies until after the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which brought with it new theories about history and a new literary genre, science fiction, in which the future is extrapolated from present conditions. This course considers representative works of apocalyptic science fiction from the end of World War II to the present, focusing in particular on how human societies adapt in the aftermath of catastrophic change.

Course Features & Delivery: Students will progress through short course modules sequentially, completing tasks (most ungraded) that allow them to continue to the next part. Students may join weekly discussions online, but are not required to do so. Major assignments include a midterm term exam in three parts (300-500 words per answer); an essay (personal or analytical, 4-6 pages) or story (5-10 pages); and a take-home final exam in which students choose any three works from the course (films or novels) to reflect on the meanings of end-of-the-world stories.

Learn more about Prof. Bolus-Reichert's teaching and research, as well as how to contact her with any questions.


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