In science fiction movies and texts, the explanation scene is a gender stereotype. This scene may be serious or funny, but it has invariably a strategic position : it’s the moment when the reader or the spectator has precisely to move on from science to fiction. Even in Countdown (Altman, 1967), a film that its director defines as « science fiction without fiction », this scene does exist and this movement does happen. A first way to figure out  how science fiction literature and cinema make us think  will be to study these scenes in the masterpieces that have marked the history of science fiction : Frankenstein (Shelley, 1818), Journey to the Center of the Earth (Verne, 1864), The Time Machine (Wells, 1895), 1984 (Orwell, 1949), 2001. A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968), Brazil (Gilliam, 1985), Matrix (Wachowski, 1999). It will be an opportunity to test the Deleuze’s idea that philosophy can be written as science fiction on « the extreme edge between our knowledge and our ignorance, where they pass within each other » (Difference and Repetition, 1968). But science fiction makes us think far beyond what it explains. How ? By dealing with everyday problems but in an extraordinary way. Consider for instance marital and filial relationships in Maybe (Klapish, 1999), environment but also handicap in Avatar (Cameron, 2009), justice in Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002) memory in The Jetty (Marquer, 1962). This second way to read and watch science fiction will allow us to question the more implicit and critical understanding of the world we live in which science fiction can offer.

There will be readings every week. On top of the final written exam, short written essays (~2 pages) every two weeks and oral participation per student will constitute the bulk of your work and evaluation