UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Summer 2018

140 | D | CCN: 15091

Special Topics in Film: The Racialized Body in Science Fiction

Emily Carpenter,

4 Units

M/W/F 10:00am-2:00pm, Dwinelle 188

Science fiction is a seemingly de-politicized but highly political genre, historically rooted in Western colonial expansion and directly expressive of imperialist desire and anxiety. This course aims to illuminate the ways in which science fiction film constructs its Others through scenes of encounter that mobilize ideologies of race, class, and gender in complex and contradictory ways. Beginning with a history of the representation of black bodies in American science fiction film, and proceeding through narratives of laboring migrant bodies at the US-Mexico border, cultural appropriation, ecological indigeneity, and the construction of queer futures, students will examine how film texts engage in ongoing cultural conversations about the formulation and reformulation of identity, often by exploring the flexible, contested boundaries between human and nonhuman, self and other, organism and machine, past and future. Course texts model intersectional understandings of the constitution of body and identity as site of both oppression and resistance.