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123426 SE Literary & Cultural Studies Seminar / BA Paper / MA American/North American Lit./Studies (2020S)

Utopian and Dystopian Visions of Human Enhancement in North American Literatures

11.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung

An/Abmeldung

Details

max. 18 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch

Lehrende

Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Participants are expected to attend an international conference early in the semester as auditors. This program will also make up for sessions which will be canceled in May and/or June. For the program see https://www.oeaw.ac.at/veranstaltungen/article/artificial-intelligence-auf-dem-weg-zur-digitalen-weltverbesserung/.

Mittwoch 11.03. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 18.03. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 25.03. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 01.04. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 22.04. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 29.04. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 06.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 13.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 20.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 27.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 03.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 10.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 17.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 24.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A

Information

Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

"Utopian and Dystopian Visions of Human Enhancement in North American Literatures"
One of the global topical issues today is the possible realization of utopian dreams of improving the human potential by applying advanced technologies and medical drugs in order to increase mental and physical capacities and cure illnesses and (latent) weaknesses. Large-scale experiments aiming at enhancing human power and performance have given rise to (heated) debates about the complex problems involved in the individual and collective voluntary application of such methods, and have inspired writers to explore the risks of their abuse in dystopian texts. The long tradition of pessimistic views of the progress and application of biomedical technologies and of various ways of shaping individuals and society at large, potentially through dictatorial regimes, has thus gained a new topicality.
Related to this topic has been the debate on the rapid development of artificial intelligence and the alleged superiority of robots and similar efficient tools over human talent, with visions of the enhancement of the human mind by a deliberate hybridization, which may put the authentically human in jeopardy and radically divide humanity into groups with enhanced and with all-too limited skills.
These alarming possibilities depicted by contemporary authors with a keen interest in the evolution of the natural sciences and medicine is to be considered in this seminar. Among the North American texts with dystopian features to be studied in class will be Walker Percy’s novel Love in the Ruins (1971), Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003) and Dave Eggers The Circle (2013).
The seminar will offer opportunities to discuss these contemporary texts in the light of the debate presented at the international conference convened in Vienna in March.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Participants will submit a written seminar paper of 20-22 pages, and offer an oral presentation. Regular attendance and active class participation are expected, and two written reports on seminar sessions and lectures at the conference. There will be a final written test on the topic of the seminar.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Student presentation of written seminar paper, 50%
oral contributions in class and two written reports 25%
final essay test 25%

Prüfungsstoff

Students will have to be familiar with the three chosen novels and with the issues debated at the conference and in scholarly responses to the texts jointly studied in class.

Literatur

Walker Percy, "Love in the Ruins" (Avon Books, second-hand copies readily available), Margaret Atwood, "Oryx and Crake" (Virago), Dave Eggers, "The Circle" (Penguin).
A reserve shelf containing pertinent studies will be accessible on the upper floor of the departmental library.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Studium: UF 344, BA 612, MA 844;
Code/Modul: UF 4.2.4-322, BA09.2, 10.2, MA5, MA6, MA7;
Lehrinhalt: 12-0406

Letzte Änderung: Mo 07.09.2020 15:20