Picador Seminars by Paul La Farge

Picador Professor Paul La Farge will teach two classes in the winter term of 2016/17:


Language, Identity and Society in American Science Fiction

Wednesdays, 3-5 pm, GWZ 3 5.15

For the last hundred years or so, science fiction has been a way for writers to imagine the future, but also, implicitly or explicitly, to think about the present. In this class, we'll read American genre and mainstream works from the 1930s to the 2010s, with particular attention to the ways in which science fiction uses language to create a world, and the ways in which its created worlds cast light on technology, gender, race, politics, and other human notions.

We will read H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness (1936), Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (1950; selections), Samuel R. Delany's Babel-17 (1966), Philip K. Dick's Ubik (1969), Octavia Butler's Kindred (1979), William Gibson's “Johnny Mnemonic” and “The Gernsback Continuum” (1981), and Jennifer Egan's “Black Box” (2012). Please purchase the books by Lovecraft, Bradbury, Delany, Dick, and Butler. The stories by Gibson and Egan will be provided to you.

The books by Lovecraft, Bradbury, Delany, Dick, and Butler have been ordered at the Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung and will be available at the beginning of October.

This seminar is part of the MA module “Consumption, Culture, and Identity.”


Approaches to the Short Story: A Fiction Workshop

Tuesday, 3-5 pm, GWZ 3 5.15

The short story can take many forms: minimal and maximal, realistic and fantastic, experimental and traditional. In this class, we’ll practice the techniques of short-story writing in relation to works by writers whose short stories are quite different from one another. The first part of the course will involve directed writing exercises; the second part will be a workshop in which students will complete and revise a short story. 

Readings will include stories by Ernest Hemingway, David Foster Wallace, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, Mary Gaitskill, Rivka Galchen, Philip Roth, Donald Barthelme, Lydia Davis, Junot Diaz and Kelly Link.

All students are welcome, but the number of spots is limited. Please sign up via e-mail to americanstudies@uni-leipzig.de by September 30, 2016. In your e-mail, please indicate your name, your student ID number, as well as the program in which you're currently studying. You will receive an e-mail from us informing you whether you secured a spot in the workshop after September 30.