Conferences and the SF Classroom
I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, last weekend to present a paper on the intersections of science fiction, fantasy, and folklore in Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Conference. As a doctoral student in the English Department at the University of Kansas, I've traveled to a number of national and regional humanities conferences over the past few years, and I've been pleased to see several SF-related panels featured at each conference—though that's not to say
that we shouldn't work to increase the number of SF-themed papers and panels.
At SAMLA, I heard exciting papers on horror in the African American literary aesthetic, and the panel I served on included essays about saints' legends in Harry Potter and utopian themes in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Additionally, Kelley S. Ceccato, an instructor at North Georgia College and State University, presented Poe lesson plans she uses in her introductory English classes.
After the conference, Kelley agreed to share with AboutSF her final research paper prompt, which asks students to consider Poe's short stories from one of several possible interdisciplinary perspectives. You can find her research assignment in the Lessons Library. While you're there, check out the recently added content on SF and scientific literacy by Julie E. Czerneda and learning physics with Ringworld by Andrew Love.
Kelley's presentation made me think about the SF texts I've taught in my classroom—and all the texts I look forward to teaching in the future. What have you been teaching? What is your SF dream class or text? Share your thoughts here, and if you have any lesson plans you'd like to contribute, please share those as well!