May 25, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FREN 478 - Science and Technology in Film and Literature

In this course we will analyze French fiction, graphic novels and film associated with the genre of science fiction and taking as their principal themes speculation on technology, travel in time and space and utopian or dystopian representations of the future. The primary question guiding our discussions will be whether science fiction should be understood as a form of projection, wish-fulfillment or a “journey into fear” that only reflects the anxieties of the dominant ideologies of the society and historical situation in which it is produced; or instead, whether it can amount to a real form of thinking on the limits of politics and history and on the possibilities for radical social transformation. We will also consider whether it is possible to identify any cultural specificity of French science fiction writing or a French attitude to technology in the works we discuss. Our discussions will be informed by readings of theorists including Frederic Jameson, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, and Pierre Macherey. Texts and films studied will include a small number of early works such as Cyrano de Bergerac’s L’Autre Monde (1657) and Mercier’s 1771 novel L’An 2440; the fiction of Jules Verne; and films including Meliès’s 1902 Le Voyage dans la lune; La Jetée (1962); Godard’s Alphaville (1965); Laloux’s La Planète sauvage (1973); and Franju’s classic take on plastic surgery and mutilation Les Yeux sans visage (1960). Taught in French. Prerequisite(s): FREN 306  . Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)