Context, cosplay, and (re)configurations: Centering the geek at the heart of science fiction pedagogy

  • Kimon Keramidas New York University
  • Fiona Haborak University of Texas, Dallas
Keywords: Design thinking, Experimental humanities, History of technology, Interactive technology and pedagogy, Interdisciplinary, Participatory culture

Abstract

The course "Science Fiction: Humanity, Technology, the Present, the Future" uses fandom as a motivator for pedagogical development, promoting participation and engagement by encouraging students to embrace their fan passions. In classroom discussions, website commentary, Geek of the Week presentations, and a final prototype project where science fiction texts are reimagined as nonlinear user-driven experiences, students are given a role in shaping the content and trajectory of the course. Two perspectives are provided, one from a professor and one from a former student, on the course, its syllabus and assignments, and the ways in which the students' participation in fandom helps influence the hierarchies, balance, and flow of the course. By exploring new approaches to course development and more democratic classroom experiences through concepts such as affinity spaces, participatory culture, and design thinking, the course proposes a fan pedagogy that best contextualizes science fiction as a genre, field, and space for cultural commentary.

Published
2021-03-15