Course Code: ME524.2 • Study year: II • Academic Year: 2024-2025
Domain: Philology - Masters • Field of study: English Language, Literature and Culture in European Context
Type of course: Compulsory
Language of instruction: English
Erasmus Language of instruction: English
Name of lecturer: Petru Stefan Ionescu
Seminar tutor: Petru Stefan Ionescu
Form of education Full-time
Form of instruction: Class / Seminary
Number of teaching hours per semester: 42
Number of teaching hours per week: 3
Semester: Autumn
Form of receiving a credit for a course: Grade
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6

Course aims:

The main objective of this course is to open towards a better undestanding of the world through literature, mainly through parallels between a possible perception of the social imaginary and science-fiction
Science-fiction and its main speculative "objectives" open paths towards "serious" knowledge.
Science-fiction's reflections on the social imaginary lead to a better integration of the human being in society.

Course Entry Requirements:

There is no compulsory work placement in the course unit.

Course contents:

Starting from the obvious connection existing between science-fiction and our contemporary world, oriented towards dystopian approaches (George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 Suzanne Collins’ trilogy The Hunger Games (2008-2010) as well as towards the perception of the relationship between the human being and the artificial intelligence in a society dominated by very advanced technologies, the course is meant to offer a pertinent image of our level of reality. A level of reality connected with other levels of reality, in an attempt to adapt the transdisciplinary theories to a philological subject of study. It asks from the student a certain encyclopaedic knowledge meant to introduce him in the imaginary of different epochs with an impact on the evolution of mentalities. The course also implies the definition of science-fiction with its subgenres as well as its connections with comparative literature, with mythology, with history and geography, with science and philosophy.

Teaching methods:

Instruction is a combination of lectures, seminars, groupwork and individual work.

Learning outcomes:

Science-fiction seen as a literary genre offers an adequate description of the contemporary world where the place of the imaginary is so important. The publicity and the market economy lead towards a “colonization of the imaginary”, towards its manipulation. 

Learning outcomes verification and assessment criteria:

Combined oral and written examination (50% + 50% of the final grade)

Recommended reading:

Aldiss, Brian W. & Wingrove, David, Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction, House of Stratus, -, 2002, -.
Le Guin, Ursula, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction, Harper Collins Publishers, -, 1992, -.
Taylor, Charles, Modern Social Imaginaries, Duke University Press, -, 2004, -.