Oh oh oh, you guys, I forgot one of the coolest things! In my defense, there were a lot of incredibly cool things this year!
Anyway. So, last year I know that a couple of college professors/instructors assigned Ancillary Justice as part of a course. That was a definite achievement unlocked thing, right?
But this year, Professor Richard Fry at SIUE taught Introduction to Philosophy, which–here, I’ll give you the course description:
By reading speculative fiction, we come to see more clearly both how our lives are and how they should be. Philosophy, as a discipline, pursues closely related questions and lines of thought. In this course, we will use a novel to jump-start our thinking about our selves and the wider world around us. It will serve as a starting point for conversations about language, minds, gender, emotion, politics, civilization, surveillance and individuality, among other issues. We will read our novel in tandem with scholarly philosophical work both historical and contemporary. You will be assessed primarily through written papers. No antecedent familiarity with speculative fiction is required or expected.
Three guesses what that novel was. The first two guesses may or may not count.
So, while I don’t live in Edwardsville, it’s really not that long of a drive from St. Louis. So in early December I visited the class. Or, the classes, since there were two sections. They were a great bunch of students, and had great questions for me, some of them ones I’d answered before, and some that were entirely new to me. But I was really impressed with the way they were engaged with the class, and with the book. I had a great time! I’m really glad I was able to do that.
Also, I mean. Seriously. Right?
Now, I didn’t ever at any time have the ambition to have my book taught in philosophy class. In fact, one student asked me that–did I start out with a message or a list of philosophical ideas? And no, I did not. I started out wanting to tell a cool story, the kind of book that would make me go “Oooh this is exactly the sort of thing I like” if I found it at the bookstore. But, you know. I can’t say I mind the book being used for class, and I absolutely do not mind that the result was these students were definitely interested and thinking about philosophy. How did I forget that in my year summary post yesterday? Because that is just so utterly awesome.