ENGL 3606: Representing Artificial Intelligence: September - December 2012
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General course information

Required Texts

The above are available for purchase through the campus bookshop.
In addition to these, we will be studying six movies and an essay, all of which will be available on reserve in the library:

Course Expectations or Outputs

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. identify and differentiate the characteristics used to portray artificial intelligence in popular media.
  2. demonstrate the skills of close reading in an analysis of the figurative and symbolic value of the representations of artificial intelligence in popular media.
  3. articulate the importance of theoretical concepts (drawing mainly upon Marxism, feminist theory, and masculinities studies) to the representations of artificial intelligence in popular media.
  4. construct and support analytical arguments in correct essay format.
  5. communicate ideas and analyses clearly and coherently in class discussion.

Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate:

  1. a detailed knowledge of popular representations of artificial intelligence, including an ability to unpack their ideological underpinnings.
  2. an ability to interpret literary and cultural texts (that depict artificial intelligence) in a nuanced and historically informed manner.
  3. an ability to participate in a critical discussion by communicating ideas and analytical observations in a clear and concise manner.
  4. an ability to develop and sustain analytical arguments.
  5. an ability to communicate logical and analytical arguments in clear, correct, and persuasive prose.

Preparation and Participation

You are expected to participate in class in an informed manner. At the very least, you are expected to come to class regularly, having read all assigned reading. You are expected to participate in class discussions. Keep in mind that participating in class is usually a highly rewarding experience, greatly enhancing your ability to understand the course material and helping ensure your success in the course. Everyone is expected to be courteous and professional at all times in class.



The Department of English Studies and Nipissing University maintain a strict policy on all forms of academic dishonesty. Each assignment must be original work produced by the student only for this course. All referencing and documentation must be complete and accurate for both direct and indirect quotations. The Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines for essay preparation are the standard in English Studies. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism will not be accepted as an excuse: if you are uncertain about any of this information, see your instructor immediately. All essays and tests are subject to an additional oral and/or written test at the instructor’s discretion. All suspected plagiarism will be reported to the chair of the department, the dean of the faculty, and the registrar of the university.

Marc R. Plamondon, Ph.D. Department of English Studies Nipissing University