Reviews For Science Fiction and Politics, Courtney Brown, Emory University

As “Gaal Dornick,” the first named character in Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, there’s no way I can avoid leaving a review. As someone who teaches Science Fiction and *Philosophy*, I likewise feel compelled. The podcast—which just is a recording of the class—is excellent. He’s a fantastic teacher. While I disagree on some of the interpretation, and as a philosopher would go *much* more slowly through the ideas, I very much enjoyed this. A+ for sure!
Good choices of subject matter, but the delivery is a bit sleepy.
This guy offers nothing that goes beyond his liberal world-view
So glad I found these. I've always been a fan of Scifi but not so much politics. Just started listening and they're a great way to gain a new perspective whether you're a scifi geek or a polisci major. Very interesting and entertaining... And definitely helping me gain more interest in politics.
I'll keep this short. This is exactly why I read science fiction. It represents my world view and examines "us", possibilities, realities and strips away all the hedging and buffering of "the message". I would love to recommend Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars Trilogy - you could spend a whole semester on the issues in there.
It is interesting to listen (in 2010) to the teacher discuss tax policy and apocalyptic warnings about the environment. Now, the current debt is skyrocketing and the credibility of environmental alarmism is plummeting. Anyway, Dr. Brown is very personable and knowledgeable. His presuppositions and politics are seriously left-leaning.
I just started listening to this podcast (6 so far) and I am finding it very interesting. Professor Brown is insightful and offers good insight into how the science fiction books he has chosen for the course reflect and offer insight into political theory. I would strongly recommend this podcast to anyone interested in politics, science fiction or just good intellectual debate. Also, I disagree with the a previous review about the students. I think many of them ask good questions and even if some of their comments are a bit off topic, well, they are students. That is part of the educational process.
Fantastic lectures.. great insight.. and WOULD be great discussions, but his students time and again let us down. They have read the texts, but i don't think they have really grasped the meaning or soul of the books. This is the kind of Prof. that you would corner after class and drag out to coffee just to pick his brain some more. I wish he would go back and re-examine some of the earlier pieces (Neuromance in particular) with another class.
I am blown away by admiration for this teacher. He is patient, courteous and persistent. He drags the audience back to the main issue until he is sure he has his points across. The student audience, however, is painful. Most of them have clearly not read the books being discussed and understood little of those they have read. They are unable to relate the books to the wider social or political world, and repeatedly interrupt with irrelevant comments.
Wow. . . am about halfway through these and recommend them to anyone, not just those interested in science fiction and/or politics. Great sound to signal ratio. I'm a poor student at a second rate community college so it makes me jealous to compare the level of content to what I'm getting at my school ): On the bright side though now I can listen for free, and I don't have to write the papers! My only complaint is that he didn't include any of the Dune series in the syllabus, but other than that omission he covers all my other faves. The sound quality is excellent, especially considering the classroom setting (which actually I don't mind, although at first I wasn't sure how the class participation might affect the flow of the podcast).