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Courses - Fall 2024
University Honors
Open Seats as of
06/22/2024 at 02:30 PM
The Fiction of Fact: Science as Storytelling
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg
What is a fact? Science is often viewed as an unbiased, fact-based, analytical discipline. However, throughout history, science has sometimes been the most potent weapon for creating and supporting political fictions and social hierarchies. Not unlike the discipline of the humanities, the sciences practice interpretation: scientists observe behaviors, of subject or objects, and necessarily provide an interpretation of the data. But it is the recourse to the "real" that has made science so powerful in underwriting cultural constructs. Whether we observe how science is manipulated in the public sphere, or how it is practiced for good or ill, it has been used to naturalize hierarchies of race, class or gender. Through a range of materials--fiction, film, visual arts, scientific articles, public humanities and political theses - this course will explore one of the most potent cases of this phenomenon of "scientific" storytelling: the case of race.
HNUH228C is the required Big Question course in the Science & Fiction thematic cluster. Science & Fiction courses will be offered through Spring 2026.