The Word for World is Information: Ideologies of Language in Science Fiction & Film|
Fall 2021 not offered
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate|
By the middle of the 20th century, it had begun to seem possible to produce a grand theory of communication that would use language as a basis for understanding all of human thought, behavior, and culture. As competing versions of such a theory circulated through academic disciplines as disparate as anthropology, neurophysiology, and the emerging field of computer science, they also filtered out--sometimes in strangely warped or oversimplified forms--into popular culture.
This course will examine the most interesting and influential of these theories, both in their scholarly origins and in their most puzzling and promising elaborations in works of literary and filmic science fiction. We will be particularly attentive to the ways that the narrative logic of science fiction texts can gloss over certain logical and philosophical inconsistencies in these theories while revealing others.
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|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: |
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(CSCT)(ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)
Readings: will likely include scholarly works by Norbert Wiener, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Roman Jakobson, Noam Chomsky, Warren Weaver, and others alongside science fiction texts by George Orwell, Damon Knight, Samuel Delaney, Ursula K. Le Guin, Suzette Haden Elgin, Neal Stephenson, Koji Suzuki, and Ted Chiang (with special attention to television and film adaptations).
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