Science Fiction in Art, Literature and Film
Is space really the final frontier? Or is it the imagination of science fiction writers? Join us to discover how science fiction as developed over the centuries, and its relationship to science fact.
At a Glance
- Live online course
- 2 hours a week
- Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00
- 20 weeks: October to March
- Tutor: Glyn Morgan
- Fees from £220 to £410
- Imperial College Attendance Certificate (T&Cs apply)
- Book from 15 August
Science fiction is going through a renaissance at the moment, and this course is designed to give us the opportunity to explore the history of science fiction as a genre, from one of the first writers of science fiction Margaret Cavendish, to the latest blockbuster movies,
We will discover how the genre has evolved, how it has manifested itself in different media and at different times, and how it often says as much about the time in which it is created as it does about an imagined future. On the course we will look at a number of science fiction writers and film and television makers in detail, as well as at the changing aesthetic of imagined worlds in science fiction art, literature and film.
The course will also look at how a number of inventions from science fiction have become fact, from the development of Star Trek-style personal communicators in mobile telephones, to the very real possibility that we might see human beings colonise Mars.
The course is aimed at complete beginners, and so no previous knowledge of art, film studies or literary history or practice is necessary.
Online Access to Course
This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.
Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.
- Session 1: What is Science Fiction (SF)?
- Session 2: Proto-SF: Imaginary Voyages, Dreams and Visions
- Session 3: Frankenstein: 1818, The Birth of Genre
- Session 4: Scientific Romance
- Session 5: American Pulp
- Session 6: What is a Golden Age?
- Session 7: New Wave
- Session 8: Punking SF
- Session 9: Queering SF
*** Christmas break ***
- Session 10: Alternate History
- Session 11: Arabic SF
- Session 12: Space Opera
- Session 13: SF Comics
- Session 14: Chinese SF
- Session 15: SF Art
- Session 16: Architecture and SF
- Session 17: Afrofuturism
- Session 18: Poetry and SF
- Session 19: Ecological SF
- Session 20: 21st Century SF
The programme and the exact order of the classes are subject to modification
To enable discussion, a selection of short stories and extracts will be provided by the tutor each week.
Dr Glyn Morgan is a curator at the Science Museum in London working on a forthcoming major exhibition at the museum exploring the links between science and science fiction, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. He is author of Imagining the Unimaginable: Speculative Fiction and the Holocaust (Bloomsbury, 2020) and co-editor of Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction (Liverpool University Press, 2019) which was shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association Award.
All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.
All times stated are British Standard Time.
To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.
This course will use Teams as its online delivery method. Teams is easy to use. You will need to log into your existing Teams account or, alternatively, please create a free account here. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a Teams web link that will allow you to access the course. All you need do is click on the course link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class. Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.
All courses lasting two hours have a 10 minute break in the middle. For one hour courses there is no break.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|40||20|| £410 (Early Bird Rate: £370*)
||£240 (Early Bird Rate: £220*)||£320 (Early Bird Rate: £290*)|
|* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October only | All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course.|
Rate Categories and Discounts
- Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email evening firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online enrolment form.
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Members of the Friends of Imperial College
- Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
- Friends of the South London Botanical Institute
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Natural History Museum staff
- Science Museum staff
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Santander Bank staff (Imperial College Walkway branch only)
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Applicable terms & conditions
Please read the before enrolling on any course.
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term||Summer School|
|40||20||19 Oct - 18 Dec 2020 (9 weeks)* PLUS||11 Jan - 26 Mar 2021 (11 weeks)||n/a||n/a|
|* Followed by the Christmas break|
Web enrolment starts 15 August
Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:
- Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
- First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
- The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
- The following email notifications are sent:
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
|If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756
- Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Dr Glyn Morgan at email@example.com
- Questions about your enrolment and payment should be sent to the Programme Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.