The Future Perfect|
Fall 2020 not offered
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate, Queer Studies|
Sociology is typically preoccupied with the present and, to a lesser extent, the past, favoring empirical methods that aim to reveal a variety of truths: for example, the logics underlying social structures and systems, the causes of social inequality, and the mechanisms by which inequality is reproduced. Where does this leave the future? Despite the persistence of patterns of social life, the future remains always and ultimately undetermined. We cannot know it; we can only imagine, speculate, and fantasize. The future, it seems, belongs to the world of fiction: to novels, films, television shows, and music that offer visions of what it might hold. These visions are sometimes suffused with hope for a changed world and sometimes with anxiety at the prospect of change. What can we learn about the present from images of the future? Might they offer an antidote to suspicions that we are headed toward a future of increased inequality and scarcity and looming environmental catastrophe? What traps might we find ourselves in when we treat the future as a distinct category of time? This course pairs social theory with works of fiction in addressing these questions.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Prerequisites: SOC151 AND SOC212
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)(HRAD-MN)(SISP-Soc Conc)(SOC)
Course reader including works by Wendell Bell, Evitar Zerubavel, Lee Edelman, Emile Durkheim, Wendy Brown, Paul Gilroy, Patricia Clough, Donna Haraway, Ernst Bloch, Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, and Jose Esteban Munoz.
Fictional works will include Born in Flames, Space is the Place, WALL-E, District 9, Oryx and Crake, Parable of the Sower, Herland, and Slave to the Rhythm.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly writing assignments, three short papers, and a presentation.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Pre-requisite overrides may be granted on a case-by-case basis for students with comparable foundation courses.
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