Political Science Education and the Profession

Pedagogical Utility of Science Fiction & The Neither Impossible nor Possible Universe of The Expanse

Authors

Abstract

By relying on literary studies, this article distinguishes science fiction from fantasy: the former representing what has not happened, and the latter representing what could not have happened or what cannot happen. By intention, science fiction never truly severs itself from our experiential world, straddling this limbo of the not-possible and not-impossible, which I demonstrate using the fictional world of The Expanse—the shorthand for the fictional universe created by authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck that subsequently became a six-season TV series. In turn, I argue that despite the creeping trend in IR of examining popular culture and politics in co-constitutive ways, there is still much to be gained from utilizing popular culture for pedagogy. In order to effectively do so, we need to be more specific and explicit about what learning objectives popular culture might achieve in the classroom, such as analogical reasoning and even metacognition.

Content

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