Two Mondays: April 29 and May 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online
Light lecture and Discussion. This live class will be recorded and available for later viewing.
The first contact novel, where humans communicate with another sapient species for the first time, is a staple of science fiction. We also use the phrase to refer to the first meetings of European explorers and indigenous peoples. This discussion-based, seminar-style class will read two first contact novels: the classic The Mote in God’s Eye (1974), by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven, and the recent A Half-Built Garden (2022), by Ruthanna Emrys. We’ll explore how this genre represents both the universal experience of meeting others different from ourselves and the specific anxieties or concerns of the novels’ social and political contexts. Two Mondays: April 29 and May 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online
Mote in God's Eye by Larry Nevin (9780671741921)
Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys (9781250210999)
Leigha McReynolds has a PhD in English Literature. Her dissertation was on science and the supernatural in 19th Century British Literature, but her current research focus is contemporary science fiction. In her teaching, Leigha uses science fiction to engage students across disciplines: she is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor for University Honors at UMD. She also runs a writing coaching business to help aspiring writers of all kinds achieve their personal and professional goals.
REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.