Science Fiction, Fall 2019/Lesson 6

From Gerald R. Lucas
Syllabus R1 R2 R3 L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8 L9 L10  
86228 humn 4460.01 Online Fall, 2019

Butler & Deep Space Nine
September 30–October 4


This week, we look at two alternative voices in science fiction: Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” and the Deep Space Nine episode “Far Beyond the Stars.” A Western, white, male perspective dominated science fiction in its early days — some would argue it still does. How do these texts broaden the scope of science fiction, or address its limitations? Hoe is the notion of the “alien” redefined or reconsidered?

Wikipedia Work

In this lesson, you’ll begin to work with WikiEdu for additional Wikipedia training for your project. Some of this will be review at this point, but all of the training and exercises will help you become better editors. While you should have done so in L1, you must make an account on WikiEdu before you begin.

Complete all reading and training under Week 8 on the WikiEdu dashboard.

Read and View

Read and watch the two texts, taking notes as you do. Note character names, dominant themes, motifs, symbols, and important passages. Where do these important aspects of the text appear? After a first read, try to find at least one secondary text[1] that addresses these texts on the Internet or in Galileo.[2] You might also check YouTube. Read or watch the criticism and take notes.

Journal Post 11

Research and write about any aspect of either text, incorporating your initial research. Be sure to cite correctly and that you give your post a unique title and date.

Journal Post 12

Compare any aspect — character, theme, symbol — of the two texts. How do they complement each other? What does one say about the other? Is there a characteristic that both protagonists (antagonists) share? Your goal here is to find connections between the two texts. Again, be sure to support your ideas with at least one source, cited correctly. Date and title your post.


Reply to at least two different colleagues’ posts.

Due Date

Please have all of the above completed by Sunday, October 6, 2019. I will evaluate your this lesson the following day, email everyone a progress report, and post audio feedback at the top of the next lesson if necessary.


  1. It would be helpful to begin with their respective Wikipedia entries that I linked above, but these should not be cited as sources.
  2. Obviously, the latter is better.
  3. External sources are always footnoted as references; Wikipedia entries are always just linked in the text. Never cite a Wikipedia article like you would an external source.