Monday, August 28, 2006

Syllabus for Rhetoric 121A, Fall 2006

Rhetoric 121A
Rhetoric of Fiction
“Biopunk and the Bioethical Imaginary”

Fall 2006

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 5.00-6.30, 242 Dwinelle Hall
Instructor: Dale Carrico,;
Office Hours: Before and after class and by appointment. 7404 Dwinelle Hall
Course Blog:

Course Description

"Biopunk" is a fledgling genre of speculative fiction taking up many of the characteristic themes and gestures of cyberpunk literature but reinvigorating them through a focus on the emerging pleasures and dangers of genetic science and medicine, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and biowarfare. In this course we will explore some of the provocative and unsettling connections between the wild insurgent speculation of biopunk fictions and the presumably more staid and conservative discourses of corporate futurism and bioethical policy making. How do the curious conversations, wary resistances, and imaginative interdependencies between these textual modes produce the argumentative resources available to each?

Course Requirements

Bruce Sterling, Holy Fire
Octavia Butler, Fledgling
Katsuhiro Otomo; dir., Roujin Z
Greg Bear, “Blood Music”
Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
Paul di Filippo, Ribofunk
Octavia Butler, Lilith’s Brood
Rudy Rucker, Frek and the Elixer

Your final grade will be based on the following:

Attendance/Participation/Quizzes: 30%
Three short papers, approximately 3pp. each, posted to this Blog: 40%
Final Examination: 30%

Schedule of Meetings

Week One

Tuesday, August 29, Administrative Issues
Thursday, August 31, Personal Introductions

Week Two

Tuesday, September 5, Sterling
Thursday, September 7, Sterling

Week Three

Tuesday, September 12, Sterling
Thursday, September 13, Sterling

First Blog Post Should Be Published By Now

Week Four

Tuesday, September 19, Butler
Thursday, September 21, Butler

Week Five

Tuesday, September 26, Butler
Thursday, September 28, Butler

Week Six

Tuesday, October 3, Otomo
Thursday, October 5, Otomo

Week Seven

Tuesday, October 10, Otomo
Thursday, October 12, Bear

Week Eight

Tuesday, October 17, Atwood
Thursday, October 19, Atwood

Week Nine

Tuesday, October 24, Atwood
Thursday, October 26, Atwood

Second Blog Post Should Be Published By Now

Week Ten

Tuesday, October 31, di Filippo
Thursday, November 2, di Filippo

Week Eleven

Tuesday, November 7, Butler
Thursday, November 9, Butler

Week Twelve

Tuesday, November 14, Butler
Thursday, November 16, Butler

Week Thirteen

Tuesday, November 21, Butler
Thursday, November 23, Academic and Administrative Holiday

Week Fourteen

Tuesday, November 28, Butler
Thursday, November 30, Rucker

Third Blog Post Should Be Published By Now

Week Fifteen

Tuesday, December 5, Rucker
Thursday, December 7, Rucker

Take-Home Final Examination to Be Handed In-Class on Final Meeting

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