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Your Mid-term Exam will take place on Thursday, October 15, 2015 during our normal class time.  It will consist of two parts: quote identifications and essay questions.

PART I: Essay Question

You will need to prepare an essay exam prep card using the following specifications:

  • The card may be no bigger than 5" x 8".
  • Your name must appear in the upper right corner of the card (with a horizontal orientation so that the longest side is at top).
  • A clear space at the top left corner should be left blank for stapling.
  • You may record quotes on the card, but each quote on the card needs to appear in the essay. Listing other quotes in an attempt to have the answers to the ID section is unacceptable. Quotes are expected in the essay since you can prepare ahead of time.
  • You may not write out the essay on the card, but you may outline the key points.
  • Failure to follow these directions will result in the card not being allowed during the exam.
  • I will inspect the card before the exam starts. You may wish to show up early to get my approval.

    Essay Options for Final Exam

    For purposes of this exam, "theorists" are the non-fiction essays by de Beauvoir, Fanon, or Haraway.  "Readings" include the film Blade Runner.  Material in the introduction to the anthology or the introductory material before individual stories and essays should not be used as quotes in your essays.

    1.  The concept of the "Other" plays a significant role in science fiction because of its propensity to include alien life forms and/or technology to create radically different forms of life.  Using at least one (or more) theorist, discuss three representations of the other in the readings thus far.  Shape your discussion to support a central claim about the "Other" common across your three examples.

    2.  The figure of the cyborg represents the merging of machine and human, opening up new forms of identity that can transcend species, gender, culture, or even being alive.  Using "The Cyborg Manifesto" as a guide, identify three potential cyborg figures from the readings and show how they challenge the readers' expected view of humanity.  Bear in mind that a cyborg may not necessarily require a merging of human and machine.

    3.  The nature of reality (or the reality of reality) is often questioned in science fiction, leaving characters and/or readers at a loss for how to interpret the world in which they find themselves.  Explore three moments in which reality shifts for either the characters or reader in the texts from the course and discuss how these shifts either fundamentally challenge their assumptions about the nature of reality or offer intriguing alternatives.

4.Gender clearly threads its way through many of the texts in this class. Using three sources, identify ways in which science fiction allows readers to explore the issue of gender in a manner less threatening than in mainstream literature.

5. Be it alien, Earth-bound, or artificial, life evolves. Using at least three stories as evidence, what social ideas are challenged by the unique presentations of evolution in science fiction?


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