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Term 2 Essay Questions 2019/2020

Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

EN361 Alternative Lifeworlds

Assessed Essay Topics

Term/Essay 2

Intermediate Year: 3000 words. Finalists: 4000 words.


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 detailed reference to at least TWO of the set texts studied in TERM TWO.



  1. Write an essay on the importance of one of the following in Term Two texts: Urbanism, The Weird and The Eerie, Post-industrialisation, Soviet Communism, the Android, the Animal, the Zombie, Ecology, Liminal states.


  1. How do course texts in term 2 move ‘beyond’ concepts of utopia and dystopia?


  1. How do AL texts use ‘imaginary’ or ‘impossible’ spaces to explore real world social conditions or spaces?


  1. Write an essay arguing for at least two AL texts from term 2 as examples of a particular subgenre of SF writing.


  1. How do course texts explore the failure of literary realism to give adequate representation to the Anthropocene era?


  1. How do AL texts provide creative responses to conditions of cultural censorship or repression?


  1. Critically discuss the differences (if any) between ‘speculative fiction’ and ‘science fiction’ in two AL texts.


  1. How do AL texts engage with neoliberalism as political, historical or cultural formation?


  1. How does ‘genre instability’ register relations between core, semi-periphery and peripheral cultures in AL texts?