ERIC Number: ED284255
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Science Fiction and the Undergraduate Student: A Door In.
Pecor, Charles J.
Many students come to college with little knowledge of or interest in traditional humanities topics; however, a college teacher of humanities can use science fiction as a "door in," a tool to take students from the known to the unknown. Literary elements such as characterization, plot, setting, theme, and point of view are present in science fiction works. Comparison and contrast of the ways in which different media treat the same stories and/or ideas can be accomplished, for example with H. G. Wells's "The War of the Worlds," Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast of the story, and the 1953 George Pal film version, as well as media treatments of other stories. The techniques and aesthetics of filmmaking can also be taught using inexpensive videocassettes of science fiction films. Study of science fiction can lead naturally to discussion of ideas, attitudes, ethics and morality or ecology and the environment--all traditional topics in humanities study. Science fiction can also enable students to gain new ways of viewing the world and its possible futures, much as mythologies explained the world to ancient civilizations. Finally, science fiction offers a way to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. A short selected bibliography is appended. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Southern Humanities Conference (Nashville, TN, February 26-28, 1987).