MDST 3559/ENMC 3559 (Class schedule # 34352)
University of Virginia
Fall 2009
MW 2:00-3:15pm :: 111 Monroe
Mr. David Golumbia
Office: 449 New Cabell Hall
Fall 2009 Office Hours: MW 12:30-1:45pm

Hard Science Fiction

Contemporary film, television, digital and written examples of the genre, one based on the premise that it is constructed from "plausible" science. This class will ask whether such an idea is itself plausible, while reading a variety of texts closely in cultural and formal terms. Our primary focus as always will be the texts themselves, but we will look for patterns and themes in the works as we analyze them. In two cases we will watch texts be transformed from novel to film (Stalker) and from novel to film to film (Solaris). The course will be taught primarily via discussion. Presentations, short papers, and a longer final paper. One prior class in English, Media Studies, Comparative Literature, or an appropriate topic in another discipline, or permission of instructor. Open to third years and above, or by permission.


Films (on reserve at Robertson Media Center)

Assignments and Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on written exercises and course participation as follows:


Week-by-Week Syllabus

Week 1. Class Introduction

Week 2. Overview

Week 3. Aliens

Week 4. Gattaca

Week 5. Roadside Picnic

Week 6. Stalker

Week 7. Reading period

Week 8.Event Horizon

Week 9. Solaris (Lem)

Week 10. Solaris (Tarkovsky)

Week 11. Solaris (Soderbergh)

Week 12. Mission to Mars

Week 13. Blade Runner

Week 14. Thanksgiving

Week 15. The Terminator and Sphere

Week 16. Battlestar Galactica

Final paper due in my English Dept mailbox (Faculty Lounge, 2nd floor, Bryan Hall) by the end of exam period for the course: 5pm, Sat Dec 12. There is no final exam for the course.

Last updated November 29, 2009.