Speculative Fiction: Afrofuturism, Fantasy, and the Weird

When the term speculative fiction was first coined by Robert Heinlein in 1947, it described a subgenre of science fiction. Today it is generally thought of as an umbrella term for a number of genres such as science fiction, fantasy, gothic, steampunk, horror, and alternate histories. Hence, speculative fiction is not exclusively informed by science or outer space but extends to social, political, moral, and philosophical issues, just as its time frame stretches from the past to the future. Certain critics therefore prefer treating it as a narrative mode, a method or a lens, rather than a genre. In this course, students will study four major works of speculative fiction from France, Mexico/Canada, Italy, and Brazil (in English translation). They range from what has been dubbed “weird fiction” to gothic, fantasy, and Afrofuturism. Discussion of these works of speculative fiction will be informed by readings of non-fiction dealing with intertextuality, historiographic metafiction, psychoanalysis, and biopolitics. Language of instruction is English.

Required readings:

  • To be determined

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Language of instruction: English