Science Fiction in Literature and Culture

Science Fiction in Literature and Culture

Course dates:
4 August, 2015 to 20 August, 2015
640 EUR
Application deadline:
Friday, 31 July, 2015
University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland


This course offers a concise view of the birth of science fiction as a literary genre, its development and its increasingly ambitious themes which both connect with and propose to change reality. Class topics include the history and definitions of science fiction, SF in different media (TV, films, games), the relationship between SF and natural and human sciences, and the study of SF fan culture. We will also look at central themes present in contemporary science fiction: identity politics, posthumanism and postcolonialism, and focus on some of the formal ways in which SF creates its weird worlds and temporalities.

Learning objectives

The course aims to provide students with a general understanding of the history and specific characteristics of science fiction, as well as the effects SF has had on popular culture and cultural identities. After the course, the students can recognise and analyse the thematic and narrative functions of SF in various media, and will be able to provide a clear analysis of how these functions and their theoretical representations connect with ideas of art, society and the workings of human consciousness in specific works of science fiction.



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ECTS accreditation


Contact information

Please direct any questions concerning the content of this course to the Course Coordinator Ms. Kaisa Kortekallio, kaisa.kortekallio(at)

Any questions concerning the general arrangements (accommodation, payments, etc.) should be addressed to the Summer School’s office at summer-school(at)