Center for the Study of Science Fiction
Online Science Fiction Course

Starting in Fall 2006, the Center for the Study of Science Fiction is offering an online version of our Intensive Institute on the Study of Science Fiction through the Continuing Education program at the University of Kansas. It is designed for those interested in learning how to teach science fiction as well as anyone with a desire to understand this dynamic and important genre.

The course is available now! Click here to see a course preview and find links to register.

This course explores science fiction in terms of the influences that created it and affected its subsequent development. It examines what science fiction is, how it differs from other kinds of fiction (fantasy and utopias and "mainstream" stories), how it got to be what it is, and how it achieves its effects.

Science fiction has always been a popular literary form, closely related to the public mind and the state of public awareness. This course is concerned with those stories that influenced the genre and helped develop science fiction, the stories that everyone who hopes to understand science fiction ought to know. This is a course about a genre, and genres are defined by their types, not by their isolated masterpieces. Great stories, by definition, are unique; and if they launch genres, or cap them, the qualities we value in them are those which transcend their circumstances.

By examining short stories written throughout the centuries-long life of the science fiction genre, we will ultimately come to view it in its historic, social, and literary contexts. Teachers who complete this course will also be able to intelligently teach not only the stories we study, but will be able to apply their new understanding to teaching any work of speculative fiction.

This course was developed by our AboutSF volunteer coordinator, Thomas Seay, with Chris McKitterick and James Gunn, based on Gunn's long-running Intensive Institute on the Study of Science Fiction

Costs

This course will be offered through the Continuing Education and Educational Outreach branch of the University of Kansas, so you can receive college credit at about the cost of attending KU but without the added costs of non-resident tuition. Check their website for more information about costs.

Enrollment Information

The course is available now! Click here to see a course preview and find links to register.


updated 11/9/2006

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