WGSS 3995: (Special Topics) Imagining America: Speculative Culture and American Identity

Reality and myth, histories and fictions, fantasy and fact all provide the contours of both our national and our individual identities. What roles do gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, dis/ability, and race play in determining both our realities and our imaginings? How do they impact who we are and who we could be, as individuals and as a national collective? What else could we be, and how do we know?

In this class, we will use speculative stories including fantasy, steam punk, and science fiction, in conjunction with history, anthropology, and sociology, to explore these questions on both a macro- and micro-level. This class will weave in and out of multiple realities, keeping in mind how the stories we tell emerge from the lives we live, and how the lives we live are shaped by the stories we tell. The only prerequisite is the ability to imagine, although some familiarity with the history of alien invasion in the US will be helpful.

Note WGSS 3995 is a “variable credits” course. Please ensure that you register for 3 credits.