Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fantasy and Science Fiction:The Human Mind, Our Modern World

Here's a free online course that might suit more advanced learners, I'd say high intermediate through advanced. The course would be good reading, writing and listening practice. If the syllabus seems overwhelming, you can join just to follow and doing what you can manage. There are many students from around the world ~ more non-native than native speakers and many there to practice their English. 

We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world.

About the Course
Fantasy is a key term both in psychology and in the art and artifice of humanity. The things we make, including our stories, reflect, serve, and often shape our needs and desires. 

We see this everywhere from fairy tale to kiddie lit to myth; from "Cinderella" to Alice in Wonderland to Superman; from building a fort as a child to building ideal, planned cities as whole societies. Fantasy in ways both entertaining and practical serves our persistent needs and desires and illuminates the human mind.  Fantasy expresses itself in many ways, from the comfort we feel in the godlike powers of a fairy godmother to the seductive unease we feel confronting Dracula. 

From a practical viewpoint, of all the fictional forms that fantasy takes, science fiction, from Frankenstein to Avatar, is the most important in our modern world because it is the only kind that explicitly recognizes the profound ways in which science and technology, those key products of the human mind, shape not only our world but our very hopes and fears. This course will explore Fantasy in general and Science Fiction in specific both as art and as insights into ourselves and our world. 

Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World | Coursera

1 comment:

  1. Has anyone joined the Fantasy and Science Fiction class? If you have, please post a notice and let us know. Although there is a lot of reading, most of it is not too difficult ~ plus you don't have to do *all* of it. Any reading and writing you do will strengthen your English skills.

    Plus there are video lectures. The professor speaks very clearly and not too fast.


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