Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Examines a range of fantastic and science fiction narratives from the nineteenth century onwards, and observes their transformations of conventional narrative patterns. We shall consider the ways in which these dreamscapes reflect and engage with cultural and social concerns such as gender, religion, war, and the concept of virtual reality.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2021.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify historical developments in the literary genres of fantasy and speculative fiction.

2. Interpret and analyse literary works of speculative fiction.

3. Demonstrate how works of speculative fiction reflect on key social and literary concerns.

4. Construct persuasive arguments, informed by existing scholarship, about the operations of works of speculative fiction.

5. Communicate key literary concepts and findings in appropriate written forms.


The course will trace the history of speculative fiction. Material studied will include:

  1. One or two works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when science fiction and fantastic literature began to become an important genre especially for reflection on social issues;
  2. Texts from the genres of fantasy and speculative fiction from across the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries that address serious social and cultural concerns;
  3. Texts that have furthered the narrative development of science fiction and fantasy genres;
  4. One or two culturally significant films in the genre of sf and/or fantasy.

We shall consider theoretical issues surrounding speculative narrative.

Assumed knowledge

ENGL2000 or 40 units of English.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Response to text (critical) (20%)

Written Assignment: Response to text (critical or creative) (20%)

Essay: Essay (50%)

Quiz: Short quizzes across semester x 12 (weekly) (10%)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.