Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Burmester

Second Advisor

Mary Hocks

Third Advisor

Scott Lighsey



Speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) has steadily gained popularity both in culture and as a subject for study in college. While many helpful resources on teaching a particular genre or teaching particular texts within a genre exist, college teachers who have not previously taught science fiction, fantasy, or horror will benefit from a broader pedagogical overview of speculative fiction, and that is what this resource provides. Teachers who have previously taught speculative fiction may also benefit from the selection of alternative texts presented here. This resource includes an argument for the consideration of more speculative fiction in college English classes, whether in composition, literature, or creative writing, as well as overviews of the main theoretical discussions and definitions of each genre. In addition, this work includes a short history of speculative fiction, bibliographies of suggested sample themes for each genre, sample course syllabi and assignment/activity suggestions, and strategies for obtaining and using hard-to-find texts for prospective teachers.