The 21st century is an age of the most rapid changes societies have ever experienced. Everyday life is influenced by social media and AI. We are facing serious climate change, new types of wars, and lack of privacy. These new elements are bringing about a lot of changes to patterns and practices in people’s lives. Not only do we need to know and understand more about the world we live in, but we also need to be able to make predictions about the future. One approach is to look closely at science fiction as a resource for ideas of what is to come.
In this course we will take a look at science-fiction from the perspectives of sociology, security, political science and ethics. We will explore the thin line between reality and fiction in literature, film, and gaming. We will examine science fiction as a predictor and ponder upon futurology and foresight. We will focus on possible new technologies and the way they might change people’s lives (individual’s identity, patterns of behavior, fears and hopes).
Alongside a series of discussions and workshops, we will be working on essays for publication in a course anthology and exploring the new field of prototype/design fiction and micro science fiction prototyping (µSFP).
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Stanisław Lem – the brilliant Polish futurologist and writer, author of “Solaris.” We will learn about his life and work and take a closer look at his predictions about the future. Many of them did come true!
Course dates: June 28 – July 16, 2021 (course) + July 19 – August 6 (writing seminars)
Credits: 6 ECTS (3 US semester credits)
Participants: Open to those 18 years of age or older. Course topics/credits applicable to regional studies, history, English/creative writing, philosophy, or sociology.
- History of Science Fiction in Central/Eastern Europe
- Bladerunner: AI and the Robot Revolution
- Star Trek: Interstellar Travel
- Elysium: Healthcare & Biotechnologies
- Metropolis: Cities of the Future
- Minority Report: Security
- The Time Machine: Time Travels
- Universal Soldier: Future Wars
- Brave New World: Utopia or Dystopia
- Black Mirror: The Future of Social Media
- Avatar: The Challenges of Sustainable Development
- The Eyes of Darkness: Pandemics
- What did Stanisław Lem predict about the future?
- Meeting with Andrzej Sapkowski (TBC), author of “The Witcher”
“The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read with the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it.”
– From Return from the Stars by Stanisław Lem (1961).