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Conduct a genre analysis of a science fiction film, television series, radio show, podcast, or video game
that we haven’t considered in class. That means you’ll be analyzing how your chosen text was constructed with
stylistic techniques like story, editing, camera work, special effects, costuming, etc., how it draws on sf themes,
tropes and conventions, and how it serves as a window to broader social issues.
Here’s why I want you to do it.
By researching and closely analyzing a media sf text, you will hone your critical analysis skills that you will
apply in your other FTVM classes and in your life beyond graduation. Specifically, in completing this
assignment, you’ll be working on the learning objectives of our class, including how to:
1) Describe how media sf texts are constructed through the use of creative stylistic techniques.
2) Analyze how media sf texts are developed and shaped by cultural contexts, production, distribution and

3) Evaluate ways in which media sf texts draw upon and diverge from established histories, traditions,
movements, and modes.
4) Argue for a critical interpretation of media sf texts using stylistic, historical, and/or theoretical evidence.
You’ll also be co-creating the knowledge of our class by sharing your analysis with your colleagues and
expanding our understanding of media sf.
Here’s how to do it.
Step 1. Choose a media sf television show, film, video game, radio show or podcast that you have access to
and would like to analyze. (I chose the sci-fi movie Battleship from 2012)
Step 2. Do your research. Try to find one scholarly source (such as a peer-reviewed journal article, scholarly
book chapter or scholarly book) or one popular source (newspaper or magazine article) to inform your analysis.
Find out some background information on the show such as its production and distribution information and
what critics and other scholars have said about it. Do not simply use Wikipedia as a source or do a Google
search for this information. Practice locating some quality sources to inform your analysis (published articles
and books)
Step 3. Sign up for Padlet and design your project. Using the Padlet “stream” layout, organize your posts on
your board by including the following sections, using as many posts as needed for each section, and including
images, videos, audio recordings, websites, etc.:
Introduction
• Tell us about your text and your argument about it. What’s the basic premise? What is the medium (film, tv
series, video game, etc.). Explain the type of sf storytelling it uses: Extraordinary voyage? Invasion story? Tale
of science? Tale of the future? Space opera? Dystopian tale? Utopian tale? Nuclear apocalypse story?
Alternate history? Alternative futurism? What is your claim about the social issue(s) it is taking on and how?
Production
• When was it made and who made it? Give some information on when it was made, where it was distributed
and who made it (production company, and any notable cast and crew members).
Sf conventions/themes/tropes
• What sf tropes, themes, and/or conventions does your text employ or rework? Cognitive estrangement?
Colonial gaze? Genre hybridity? Does it have cyborgs, robots, aliens, mad scientists, interplanetary travel,
futuristic technologies, marvelous inventions, etc.?
Sf social issues
• What social issue is the text working through using those sf elements and how? Identify the social issue that
you think the text is referencing and explain how it is representing it. Provide background information on the
social issue if needed. This is where it is helpful to refer to sources you have researched using the library.
Analysis

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