Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 28, 2008

Reflection on Sci-Fi Seminar

Filed under: seminar feedback, Seminar Topics, Seminar! — traverse02 @ 2:26 pm

My seminar this past Thursday went very well. Josh, Jon, Erin and I had a very free-flowing discussion of science fiction in YA literature and how it can enrich our students’ reading lives. The articles I addressed in my seminar showed how science fiction is usually looked down upon as cheap fiction for untalented writers who want to make a quick buck by starting new franchises heavy on action and technology gone mad. While this is true in some ways, the three books I presented were grounded in realism. The science fiction elements were presented very naturally across Little Brother, Be More Chill, and Life As We Knew It. I used these texts because I wanted to show that sci-fi isn’t always about aliens and space travel. These three young adult novels related very human stories. They offer commentary on humanity’s dependence on technology and a variety of social issues faced by young people in our modern world. I also brought along some of my personal favorite sci-fi novels, comics and films to show how these entry-level sci-fi stories can provide a good base for much deeper territory as our students grow older. Many, like the aforementioned Little Brother and the film, Equilibrium, would be perfect companion pieces to 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 and so on and so forth.

I focused on sci-fi because I grew up on it, and since we were asked from the beginning of this course to reflect on our reading lives, I felt it would be best for me to talk about a genre that I am very passionate about. Based on our discussion, which flew by time-wise, it seemed as though I was able to get the group interested, and this, I feel, is the most important aspect of teaching. I can definitely see myself incorporating seminars like this in my own classroom. From what I have experienced as a participant and facilitator, they are engaging and affecting.



1 Comment »

  1. Raph,
    This sounded like a great experience. I wish I could have been a part of it, but it sounds like it was beneficial to you and your seminar participants. Nice work.

    Comment by sostrom — April 29, 2008 @ 9:35 am

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