Spring 2024 - ENGL 363 E100

Studies in Media Cultures (4)

Class Number: 5458

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 4:30–6:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    30 units or two 200-division English courses.



Study of the relation of literature and media (manuscript, print, visual, aural, digital, and/or oral) within their cultural and/or performative contexts. May be further organized by methodology (e.g. book history, textual scholarship, media studies, adaptation studies, digital humanities), historical period, or genre. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught.


“The end of the world as we know it”: Dystopia in fiction and film

As is well known, dystopian fiction is a massive and fast growing field -- so too, obviously, is dystopian film and television: witness the popularity of The Hunger Games and The Handmaid's Tale -- especially but not only in the category of young adult literature. In this course we will study the origin and development of dystopian fiction, looking at some classic twentieht century dystopian stories that laid the foundation for our current century’s treatments of dystopia. The novels for this portion of the course are: We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin; Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. Then we will move on to consider two second generation dystopian works: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick, and Children of Men, by P. D. James, both works that have been made into notable films.

We will look at both fiction and film. Our first three novels are about the obliteration of individuals, where they can lose not only their lives but also the worlds they are familiar with. Our last two novels are about two threats to humanity: extinction in one case (The Children of Men) and the loss of empathy in the other (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). We will read the novels and examine the films based on these novels. Any editions -- including electronic editions -- of these five works will be suitable. I will not order them to the SFU Bookstore; you will have to acquire them yourselves.

Extra material — short stories and short articles — will be provided at cost (no more than two or three dollars), or posted on Canvas. You will be be required to watch at least two films at home or in class. Updates will be posted on Canvas Announcements, but the course will be taught in-person. 


  • Attendance / participation 20%
  • short group presentation (approximately 4 per group) 10%
  • mid term essay (6 pages) 35%
  • end of term essay (6 pages) 35%



We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Any edition including e-book. I have supplied the ISBN number for the new translation by Bela Shayevich (with an introdution by Margaret Atwood).
ISBN: 9780771050220

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Any edition including e-book (the Vintage edition I have recommended has an introduction by Margaret Atwood).
ISBN: 9780307356543

Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. Any edition including e-book.
ISBN: 9780141036144

The Children of Men, by P. D. James. Any edition including e-book.
ISBN: 9780676977691

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Any edition including e-book.
ISBN: 9780345404473


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html