Wednesday, March 03, 2004

This semester, Harvard is offering an anthropology course titled 'Humans, Aliens, and Future Home Worlds: An Anthropologist Looks at Science Fiction'. The course description: Science fiction is an entertaining, but also thought provoking, medium that examines attitudes, mores, ideals, and desires concerning culture and society. Through our analysis of largely American sci-fi novels, movies, and television series, we explore these major themes: exploration and contact with 'the alien'; earth invasions, interstellar battles, and other galactic military adventures; the culture and community of space travelers; robots, androids, and other near-humans; and the sci-fi fandom phenomenon.
Around 1988 (and as recently as 1997), Rutgers had a course titled 'the Philosophy of Science Fiction', as did the City College of New York. Course description: An analysis of some of the central questions of philosophy as they are represented in science fiction (and occasionally, science fact). Selections from science fiction works will range over topics such as space and time, infinity and eternity, identity, knowledge of other minds; artificial intelligence; moral dilemmas and technology; the meaning of life. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.
Another school (Clemson, and perhaps others) had a 'History of the Future' course.
My anthropology-and-philosophy-doublemajor brother would've loved this. He took a Scifi English course once, but ECU doesn't have these cooler courses.