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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 55.16 Prehistoric Worlds: Science Fiction and Geological Time

Ever since natural historians like Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin radically expanded the time scale of Earth’s history, modern writers and filmmakers have looked for new ways to mediate “deep time.” This course is an introduction to their work. During the semester, we discuss the techniques they use to portray the passage of geological time. We also question the political implications of these representations—what they tell us about society in the present. Finally, we consider deep time as an inspiration for new philosophical concepts. The course has three sections: “Deep Time and Early Science Fiction”; “Cold War Countercultures”; and “The Anthropocene.” In addition to essays and exams, we complete a field project about the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:TMV; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

No course group assignment.