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Graduate Program Designated Emphasis

Requirements

The DE in Speculative Fictions and Cultures of Science is open to Ph.D. candidates in any field of study. Students pursuing the DE in must complete its requirements before they advance to candidacy in their field, and they must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be awarded the DE.

The Designated Emphasis is a 12-unit interdisciplinary graduate course of study, requiring coursework across at least two departments. Two of the three required courses, if otherwise eligible, may count towards the student’s Ph.D. requirements.

  1. All students must complete a 297 graduate course (4 units) with an affiliated faculty member that produces an approximately 25-page research paper. This course will fulfill the research requirement of the Designated Emphasis. The 297 course can be taken in any of the departments of affiliated faculty members. See the People page for affiliated faculty and a list of their home departments.
  2. Two (2) courses (8 units) selected from

ANTH 262: Seminar in Medical Anthropology (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Surveys major topics in medical anthro­pology. Examines the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of medical anthropology, including the cultural construction of health and disease, the nature of the therapeutic process, and how social structures contribute to inequality and suffering.

CPLT 272: The Origins and Promise of Science Fiction (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Studies the literary, scientific, and social or­igins of the science fiction genre and how it generates new themes, narrative structures, and perspectives on the human condition.

CPLT 273: Genre and Method in Science Fiction Studies (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Pre­requisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instruc­tor. An introduction to the critical debate within the field of science fiction and to some of the early and fundamental concepts of what science fiction is and what it does. Examines the development of science fiction from its origins through its influence on critical theory in twentieth- and twenty-first century texts.

CPLT 275: Science Fiction Authors (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Examines the work of one of the core authors of science fiction and the reception of that work in either the initial formation or later development of the genre Course is repeatable as content changes to a maximum of 12 units.

CPLT 276: Science Meets the Fiction (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Examines how changing scientific views of the world impact the science fiction genre. Studies the evolution of travel narratives and the historical novel into new adap­tations of scientific visions of space and time. More broadly, examines how the genre reflects changing social and scientific contexts.

CWPA 255: The Graphic Novel (4) Seminar, 2 hours; studio, 2 hours; extra reading, 1.5 hours; outside research, 1.5 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate

ENGL 246: Seminar in Digital Media and Technocultural Studies (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Explores the history, theories, and practices of technoculture. Includes studies of com­putational or combinatorial texts and media. Brings together issues and contexts related to technological innovation, including the industrial production, re­fraction in aesthetic practices or popular cultural texts and sociopolitical deployment. Course is repeatable as content changes.

ENGL 247: Seminar in Science, Literature and Media (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prereq­uisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Combines perspectives from the cultural study of technology and the social study of science with an analysis of the cultural texts. Includes readings from significant primary texts alongside work from the history of science, technology, and medicine. Course is repeatable to a maximum of 16 units.

ENGL 248: Seminar in Science Fiction (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Intensive research in the history and theory of science fiction. Includes readings of significant primary texts and examinations of the genre from various critical per­spectives (e.g. structuralist, Marxist, feminist). Course is repeatable to a maximum of 16 units.

ETST 243F: Special Topics in Ethnic Studies (4) Lecture, 3 hours; activity, 3 hours; assignment of the remaining hours varies from segment to segment. Pre­requisite(s): graduate standing; consent of instructor. A critical analysis of current theory and research in special areas of Ethnic Studies. Covers a single topic not addressed in a regular course. Topics vary from quarter to quarter. May be taken Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC) with consent of instructor and graduate advisor. Course is repeatable as topics change to a maximum of 12 units.. NOTE: this may only be taken when the course is offered in the variant labelled ETST243F.

HIST 287A: Research Seminar in Nature, Place, and Space: Environmental and Spatial Approaches to His­tory (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Surveys historical literature and methodol­ogies involved in spatial and environmental analyses of the past. Examines technical and methodological issues involved in using spatial documents (maps). Discusses applications of historical research to envi­ronmental remediation. Includes work on a research paper. May be taken as a one- or two-quarter course (HIST 287A, HIST 287B). Graded In Progress (IP) un­til the last quarter is completed, at which time a final grade is assigned. After completing both HIST 287A and HIST 287B, students may repeat the sequence once for credit; total credit for each course may not exceed 8 units.

MUS 251: Music in Computer Gaming (4) Seminar, 3 hours; outside research, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. Introduces students to the history and theory of music use in computer games, including the development of clas­sical commercial gaming and game design and the related use of dramatic music. Topics cover adventure game history, narrative underscoring, commercial computer game genres, and contemporary issues related to interactivity, performance, and reception

MUS 264: Music in Fantasy and Science Fiction (4) Seminar, 3 hours; written work, 3 hours. Prerequi­site(s): graduate standing or consent of instructor. A survey of the use of music in science fiction and fantasy. Covers Tales of Hoffman and Aniara to Star Trek and Solaris. Examines music’s textural, sonic,  and political roles in terms of traditional functions, as well as those associated with the explication of the synthetic and fantastic.

PHIL 237: Philosophy of Science (4) Lecture, 3 hours; seminar, 1 hour. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing. Topics discussed include understanding scientific ob­jectivity in the light of the history and sociology of sci­ence; realism and antirealism about scientific theories; scientific methodology and its logic; and the nature of scientific explanation. Students who complete all writing assignments, including a term paper, receive a letter grade; other students receive a Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC) grade. Credit is awarded for only one of PHIL 137 or PHIL 237.

Students may ask to count another course with relevant content as approved by the Designated Emphasis Director.

Students must select courses from at least two different departments or programs, one of which may be their home department.

Undergraduate courses taken to fulfill these requirements must be accompanied by a 292 course with extra work mutually agreed upon by professor and student. For a list of undergraduate courses associated with the DE, please see the Minor page.

DE Degree Check Form