Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies
EN2F5/EN3F5 Introduction to Alternative Lifeworlds Fiction
Assessed Essay Topics
Intermediate year: 3000 words
Finalists: 4000 words.
DEADLINE: 12 NOON TUESDAY, WEEK 2, TERM 2.
The following topics are suggestions. You may modify them, or devise one of your own, but
should do so only in consultation with your seminar tutor.
While you may range as widely as you like in AL texts, not necessarily confining yourself to books studied on the module, you should make reference to at least TWO texts studied during TERM ONE.
- Write an essay on the role of both cognition and estrangement in AL texts.
- Write an essay on the importance of one of the following in Term One texts: Time Travel; Empire; Technology; ‘Race’ and/or Racism; Anarchism and/or non-hierarchical social relations; Language; Illness; Automation/Automata; Memory; Folklore and/or fantasy; Body modification; Food.
- “La Jetée takes place in a no-place (u-topia) in no-time (u-chronia): the time and place of the fairy tale. It is dystopia, with the hope of utopia. Or, it is utopia cut by the threat of dystopia.” — Carol Mavor, Black and Blue: The Bruising Passion of Camera Lucida, La Jetée, Sans Soleil and Hiroshima Mon Amour (pp.9-11) How do AL texts critically investigate the concept of utopia?
- How do AL texts question ideas about reality and/or the real through literary form?
- How do AL texts question ideas about the future and/or futurity through literary form?
- What is the relation between AL texts and earlier cultural modes e.g. fairytale?
- Write an essay on at least two AL texts from a world-historical perspective.
- How are alien invasion narratives bound up with colonial/imperial attitudes to otherness? Refer to at least two AL texts in your answer.
- Write an essay on the queer politics of time in at least two AL texts.
- Write an essay exploring at least two AL texts from the perspective of feminist and/or class critique.
- How do AL texts explore the idea of ‘first contact’ between humans and alien species?
- How do AL texts critically investigate the nature of humanity?
- How do AL texts engage with ideas of autonomy/consent?
- Write an essay on the relation between the alien and alienation in Al texts.