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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2010

ANT 391 • Science Fiction Family Values

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Course Description

This graduate seminar examines constructions of sexuality, gender, race and identity in the works of black science fiction authors Octavia Butler and Sam Delany. Butler and Delany have emerged as internationally celebrated authors. Their books center on "outcastes" or “others” living in futuristic, sometimes apocalyptic, settings. Social, sexual, racial constructs and taboos are routinely violated in the writings of Octavia Butler and Sam Delany. This course employs their artistic representations of humanity and love within utopias and dystopias of the future as a lens through which to investigate present day political struggles among disenfranchised and stigmatized social sectors.

Grading Policy

Course requirements: Attendance: 20%; Participation: 25%; Presentation on readings: 25%; Final Research Paper 30%.


Novels studied include: Butler's Kindred; Mind of My Mind; Wild Seed; Parable of the Sower; Parable of the Talents; and, Delany’s Empire Star; Babel-17, The Fall of the Towers, and his memoir The Motion of Light in Water. Supplemental texts: J. Costa Vargas, Never Meant to Survive: Genocide and Utopias in Black Diaspora Communities.


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