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ERIC Number: ED554230
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 249
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-6711-9
Feminist Aliens, Black Vampires, and Gay Witches: Creating a Critical Polis Using SF Television in the College Composition Classroom
Eyestone, Dawn
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Iowa State University
The ability to "critically" consume entertainment media is a necessary skill for an educated and functional society--a polis; however, contemporary college students are experienced consumers of pop culture but not necessarily critical ones. Since categories of identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, dis/ability, culture) are constructed, maintained, and reified through mainstream forces including, powerfully, the media, the ability to critique these forces is critical for an educated polis. Drawing on scholarship in critical pedagogy, cultural studies, and media literacy, this study uncovers the relative effectiveness of speculative fiction (SF) television as a pedagogical tool for developing critical thinking skills in college level English composition students. This study answers the question: To what extend does SF aid students in engaging in deeper critical thinking, especially about critical categories of identity, while simultaneously meeting the overall goals for college-level composition courses? The study reveals that SF television is especially useful to the goals of college communication courses, especially first-year composition courses, which specifically attempt to teach critical thinking. This occurs in part because SF creates a safe space for students to explore "strange new worlds" of difference in identity where usual tendencies to resist critique are ameliorated by the distance inherent in students' orientation to the genre. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A