Course Curriculum: World Creation as Cultural Commentary
I set out to connect three subjects with this project: my AHS concentration in media studies, science fiction and fantasy media, and education. The intersection of these topics is the result of my project: a curriculum for a media studies course analyzing common themes and structures used in the representation of fictional worlds and their connections to modern and historical cultures and societies. The media I explored and class discussion prompts I created raise a variety of questions and will spur conversation on philosophy, ethics, religion, race, sexuality, and the foundation of them all, identity. This project has provided a unique opportunity for me to go through the experience of analyzing books, film, and television from my perspective as a student, but also from the perspective of a teacher. In forming my exploration into a cohesive curriculum, I worked to create an overarching structure that builds up new ideas and concepts in both a logical and interesting order. As the course concludes, the topics and the relationships among them should begin to crystalize and connect, ideally in a manner that reveals as many new questions as answers and leaves students excited to continue to further pursue the ideas of the course in their own media consumption. The following document includes the course syllabus and lesson plans for a half-semester course that I will co-teach with my advisor, Prof. Maruta Vitols, in Spring 2016.