Spectacular Futures: Science Fiction Film

Roger Stilling
Day/Time Taught: 
M 6:30-9:00 pm
Course Number: 

The course title refers to the primary academic content of the class: a selection of the classic fiction, movies, television episodes, and print and documentary film commentary on futuristic themes and issues that are such a prominent part of our contemporary present. We will use SF film texts such as Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and others as what Kenneth Burke calls “equipment for living” and make them the basis for class discussions, paper topics, and research projects to hone our academic skills and become more proactive creators of our own futures in a rapidly changing cosmos. Organizationally, we will pursue two parallel tracks: (1) a Knowledge/Education track in which we will use Cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner’s ground-breaking new book on education Five Minds for the Future to consider and discuss what it takes to get the maximum benefit for the future out of your university experience and (2) a Science Fiction track in which we will explore Science Fiction stories, films, and television as artistic forms that have a special relationship to themes of Knowledge, Discovery, and Futures. All of this will be processed and evaluated through a rigorous program of graded and un-graded activities that will be integrative (or—to use a favorite term of Gardner’s—synthesizing) in nature and will stress a Gen Ed Perspectives and Themes approach to interpretation, information literacy, research and critical thinking skills, and effective written and oral communications. We’ll make FYS our launching pad into Appalachian’s new General Education program and try to make the experience as productive and collegial as our combined efforts and abilities will allow


Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

QEP Global Learning