For 16/18 April


In Week 6, we lose two class meetings to Easter Monday and election day. Therefore, I won’t see you until 16 April.

Last time, I lectured on the function of SF and fantasy (“genre”) narratives in society, for expressing what is publicly inexpressible — fantasies, anxieties or fears — and for reinforcing values of society — norms, and ideals.

I asked you to think about how this applies to the Disney movie John Carter.

In our first hour of class in Week 7, on 16 April, we will discuss that film in small groups, and compare notes. If you want to be extra-prepared, the Korean translation of the book on which John Carter is based — a novel called A Princess of Marsis available. The translation is good-quality, regardless of what you might think of the novel. (Or you can get the English original for free and in many formats here.)

In the second hour of our class, we will discuss a second film I am requesting you to watch before 18 April, titled The Hunger Games, which is playing in many, many cinemas in Seoul and across Korea.

I was hoping to spend Week 6 on a discussion of the significance of SF in launching a new form of self-conception in North America, in which entertainment is an important component. However, a discussion of this, and of the Flappers, will probably mostly have to wait until Week 9, since I will need to discuss your Midterm Exam with you during part of our last hour of Week 7.

And that, folks, is the plan.

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