Prof. Arielle Saiber’s World Science Fiction Course, Bowdoin College, USA, Spring 2015

    WSF course 2015

    Prof. Arielle Saiber’s World Science Fiction Course, Bowdoin College,  USA, Spring  2015

    The World Science Fiction Course (19th of January – 12th of May 2015) explores the local, global, and universal natures of the speculative genre of science fiction (SF) from the early twentieth century through the present. It highlights works from the Golden Age (late 1930s-’50s), the New Wave of the 1960s and ’70s, cyberpunk in the 1980s, and today’s various sub-genres and cross-over incarnations.

    The World Science Fiction Course approaches the genre as a mode of thought-experimentation and world-building that problematizes actual and possible political, cultural, natural, human, and techno-scientific realities. Among the themes included are the human-machine interface, environmental apocalypse, the alien, and time travel.

    Readings include short stories from nearly every continent (a number of which will be accompanied by a short film or other media) and literary criticism. Integral to the course is an exhibition of Latin American SF at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and a number of conversations with writers, artists, filmmakers, and scholars of SF from around the world.

    Professor Arielle Saiber is teaching a college course entitled “World Science Fiction” in the spring semester of 2015 (January – May) at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, USA.  The course is for undergraduates and taught in English. The syllabus consists of short stories, a few films, and literary criticism.  There is also a speaker series in which 10 writers/scholars will visit the class ‘virtually’ (via Skype), each briefly discussing their country’s SF.

    The World Science Fiction Course has a website for the course that helps students navigate this immense field, and welcomes any suggestions for any of the sections:


    articles (critical essays)





    short stories

    societies and conventions

    terminology and concepts.  

    Suggestions and questions may be sent to

    Prof.Arielle Saiber hopes this website might serve other instructors of “World SF” and would be delighted to be in conversation with writers and scholars working in and on World SF.  The site is licensed under Creative Commons 4.0, and the material gathered on each page maybe be used with citation: Arielle Saiber, World Science Fiction Course, Bowdoin College, 2015:

    Speaker Series :

    Throughout the semester, writers and scholars speak about their national SF.  A few speakers will come to campus; others will be recorded and viewed; and others will virtually visit the class via Skype for about a half an hour each.

    On-Campus Speakers:

    Sherryl Vint, “To Seek Out New Worlds: Science Fiction in A Global Perspective”, February 5, 2015  –  7pm –   Main Lounge, Moulton Union, Bowdoin College

    Lisa Yaszek, “Afrofuturism as Global Science Fiction”, April 1, 2015  –  7pm  –  Main Lounge, Moulton Union, Bowdoin College

    Virtual Speakers:

    Giulia Iannuzzi and Francesco Verso (Italy)

    Cristian Tamas (Romania)

    Paweł Frelik (Poland)

    Anatoly Belilovsky (Russia)

    Ken Liu (USA-China)

    James Patrick Kelly (USA)

    Miguel Ángel Fernández Delgado (Mexico)

    Rachel Haywood-Ferreira (on José B. Adolph’s “The Falsifier,” Peru, 1972)

    Minsoo Kang (Korea)

    Vandana Singh (India)

    Lavie Tidhar (Israel)

    Nick Wood (South Africa)

    Arielle Saiber is a scholar of Italian Literature, particularly medieval and Renaissance literature, but she has been working on Italian SF and World SF contemporaneously in recent years. Some of her writing can be found here: 

    Arielle Saiber, World Science Fiction Course, Bowdoin College, 2015

    An interview with Prof. Arielle Saiber, Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine, U.S.A.) by Cristian Tamas :


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