Thesis Title

final, final frontier

Major Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Kathleen Diffley

Thesis Mentor

Benjamin Krusling

Abstract

This project explores the concept of the frontier in science fiction, and beyond that, the way it can be expressed in poetry. As I've studied different variations of poems, I've often wondered what defines the boundaries between the conventional narratives found in the genre and fiction. I've been especially interested in whether a science fiction poetry exists, and if so, what conventions of the genre it is allowed to adhere to. My goal was to therefore present a collection of science fiction poetry. The poems concern themselves with the ideals of the frontier and their manifestation in a science fiction realm. The concept of the American frontier comes from the country's westward expansion during the 19th century. Frederick Jackson Turner presented his essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History" at the end of the 19th century, advancing his Frontier Thesis, which establishes how the ideals of the frontier drove American history and its national identity. By 1890, the 11th U.S. Census declared an official end of the American western frontier. In the mid-20th century, the “space race” of the Cold War era presented a new frontier for competitive global powers to attempt to claim. Imaginations of space and the search for new frontiers became a large focus the sci-fi media to follow. This is especially evident in William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, a tour de force of the cyberpunk subgenre which explores the occupation of a colonized space or the Internet as a frontier. Overall, the poems are largely concerned with the occupation of space, whether they be narratives that take place in outer space or quite literally play with form on the page. All of the poems represent a variety of fictional voices. While there is no overarching narrative, each piece is merely a facet of the ways we can consider science fiction. Following the patterns of contemporary speculative fiction that Brian Kim Stefans has traced, these poems, though disparate, converge into a collaborative work that spans the borders of these pages.

Total Pages

51 pages

Copyright

Copyright © 2018 Aimee Fredericksen

Included in

Poetry Commons

COinS
 

URL

https://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/255