Faculty Search

NRR Instructor for Sci-Fi Film

The Duke University English Department (located in Durham, NC) welcomes applications for a part-time Instructor to teach one course in Science Fiction films during Fall 2019. We seek candidates who are committed to undergraduate teaching and have knowledge and teaching experience in the area of science fiction film post 1950.  Course must be taught using existing description (see below) during scheduled time of MW 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. This is a non-regular rank, fixed term position which begins August 15, 2019. Salary set by NRR Union at $7,804. 

To apply, please submit through Academic Jobs Online a curriculum vitae; letter of application; syllabi; course evaluations; and 3 letters of recommendation. The application address is  https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/13765.  The committee will begin its deliberations on June 7, 2019.  Applications received by that date will be guaranteed full consideration. 

English 386 Science Fiction Film: Utopian Dreams, Dystopian Nightmares. 

Synopsis: Science fiction film from the 1950s to the present. From talking apes to mind control, forbidden planets to genetic dystopias, alien invasions to travel in time and space, an exploration of classic films in the genre with attention to how the films imagine the relationships among science, politics, and society over time. Attention to visual as well as literary story telling. 

Course Description: From the beginning of cinema in the 1890s, film-makers have been entranced by the possibility of seeing the future. The science fiction film envisions both worlds in which our deepest longings and highest aspirations are fulfilled and nightmarish realms that evoke our worst fears and deepest anxieties. Beginning with Stanley Kubrick’s ground-breaking epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), we will watch and explore more than a dozen of the most influential, creative, controversial, and successful science fiction films made from around the world in the last two generations. Where might go? What might we see? Perhaps we’ll venture into space and to alien worlds, where the post-terrestrial fate of the human species is played out in Andrei Tarkovsky and Stephen Soderbergh’s Solaris (1972/2002), Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise, Joss Whedon’s Serenity (2005), and Duncan Jones’s Moon (2009). Or we’ll consider the post-apocalyptic future of humankind on earth in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979), Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995), and John Hillcoat’s The Road (2009). We’ll surely glimpse a future transformed for better and worse by the power of human science and technology in R. Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and its sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days (1995), the Wachowskis’ The Matrix (1999), Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006), Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca (1997), Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993), Minority Report (2002), and Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010). We’ll definitely consider the perils the future holds for human love and desire in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin (2013), Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color (2013), and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2014). And we may well explore a planet visited or invaded by alien life-forms in Spielberg’s E.T. (1982), War of the Worlds (2005), and Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 (2009). 

Students will be required to watch and discuss one film per week (on rare occasions two films), write two medium length essays of between eight and ten pages, and participate actively in class discussion. Grades will be based on attendance, the two essays, class participation, and weekly one-page journal submissions.

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