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ShortStories.2020: Short Stories, Sci-Fi, and Cinema

July 6, 2020 @ 2:00 pm

We often think of film adaptations of literature as needing to condense lengthy novels. However, many blockbuster science fiction movies – including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Minority Report, AI, and Total Recall – were actually based on short stories. These films expanded a relatively brief tale and created a much lengthier cinematic narrative. In this course, we would read sci-fi short stories and view the films that expanded upon them, and in so doing endeavor to answer three essential questions. First, what is gained or lost in the cinematic adaptation? Second, what do the short story and the film have to say about their respective historical/cultural moments? Third, how accurately have these narratives predicted the future? As a culminating project, students would write their own sci-fi short story in which they must simultaneously comment on our contemporary condition and be predictive about the future. They then would “pitch” the Hollywood adaptation of their own work. If done right, this course might allow students an indirect method of processing these very strange times. 


July 6, 2020
2:00 pm