The Literature of Science Fiction
English 506/690/790

Information Map
Goals and Overview
Syllabus
Costs
Maps
The City of Lawrence, Kansas


The Center offers a Fall-semester SF literature course at KU available for English undergraduate (ENGL 506 or 690), or graduate (ENGL 690 or 790) credit. As with our Summer SF Institute course, students may, for a donation to the Center, request in advance to take the course not-for-credit through the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, on a space-available basis.

Goals and Overview

"The most powerful works of SF don't describe the future - they change it." - Annalee Newitz, io9. Become fluent in SF by becoming familiar with some of the most-influential works that shaped the genre and the world we inhabit today - and where we'll live tomorrow.

Gain an understanding of contemporary and future science fiction by studying the history of the genre and many of the works that started important conversations about what it means to be human in a changing world. After reading a diversity of influential SF, we discuss how the genre got to be what it is today by comparing the works and their place in the evolution of SF, from the earliest prototypical examples through recent work. Demonstrate your understanding of the genre by writing weekly reading responses, a mid-term paper, participating in a group presentation, and creating a substantial final project. SF author and scholar Chris McKitterick leads the course.

Meets for the entire Fall semester, alternating between short fiction and novels from year to year. SF author and scholar Chris McKitterick leads the course. See this map of the University of Kansas to find your way to the classroom, and this map of KU parking (note: .pdf files).

Officially satisfies at least KU Core Goal 6, "Integration and Creativity."  

Syllabus

For more details, click here to view the Fall 2015 novels syllabus and here to view the Fall 2014 short-fiction syllabus. Includes all the details, including reading order, meeting space, assignment information, and so forth. Regularly re-developed, so check back for updates.

Costs

For credit-seeking students, the cost is what the University charges for three credits tuition; for credit-earning non-residents, be aware that tuition is higher. Alternately, if there is room in the classroom space, you may request to take the course not-for-credit. To take this class through the Center for the Study of Science Fiction (not for credit), we request a donation of $250, payable to CSSF.

If you are a not-for-credit student and require proof of completion of the course, we can provide a certificate upon request. Be sure to contact Chris McKitterick if you wish to enroll in this way; if you wish to enroll for University of Kansas credit, do so in the usual fashion.

Maps

University of Kansas map:
http://www.ku.edu/~parking/ParkingMap.pdf

Kansas Union map:
http://www.union.ku.edu/kansasuniondirect.pdf 

Lawrence map (a bus-route map, but very useful):
http://www.lawrencetransit.org/maps/ltspage2.pdf 

The City of Lawrence, Kansas

For anyone who hasn't visited, Lawrence is wonderful, a lively small city in the Kaw River valley, filled with art, events and activities. The location of the University of Kansas, Lawrence is situated about 40 miles from Kansas City and 20 miles from Topeka. Summers can be hot, but classrooms and housing are air-conditioned.

Among its many amenities, the University of Kansas has a large science-fiction collection and good reference collections; museums of natural history and art; and sports, theater, and concerts. Lawrence has many excellent restaurants, shopping, and recreational opportunities. Kansas City is less than an hour away. Nighttime opportunities include movies, dinner, concerts, and more.

The nearest major airport is Kansas City International, about 55 miles from Lawrence. Transportation to Lawrence from Kansas City International can be arranged through one of several airport shuttle services. By car, Lawrence is at the intersection of U.S. 59 and I-70 (Kansas Turnpike). The west interchange is closer to the campus. Lawrence can also be reached by Kansas Highway 10.

Find out all about Lawrence - its history, stores, museums, observatories, and SFnal activities - here.

Contact us for any logistical help you might need in getting settled for your stay:
        Chris McKitterick (cmckit@ku.edu) or James Gunn (jgunn@ku.edu).

updated 3/27/2015

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