When I heard about Paulette's course, called "Humans, Aliens & Future Home Worlds: An Anthropologist Looks at Science Fiction," I was fascinated by it, but sadly, I had no time to sit in on the class. This year, however, I asked Paulette if I could visit her class today, and she said yes.
It felt like old home week, even though the class was held in the Psychology building, which I rarely visited as an undergraduate. (Also, although Paulette was the year behind me in college, we never knew each other.) She lectured on Star Wars and science fiction fandom, and a lot of it was delightfully familiar. She had some excellent theories on why Star Wars is universally appealing, and then she spoke on fandom as a subculture. It's amusing to think of myself as being part of a subculture worthy of anthropological study, but Paulette makes an excellent argument for it.
(It's also amusing to look at one of the textbooks, SCIENCE FICTION CULTURE by Camille Bacon-Smith, and to see that she interviewed people I know, like Jalibait, who is somewhere else on LiveJournal if I remember correctly.)
A description of the course can be found at http://my.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?course=fas-anth1685, and the syllabus for the course from a few years ago can be found at http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu:80/~anth121/syllabus/ if anyone's interested.
(Of course, the real reason for this post is to shout out to mystful, who will be in the workshop and who I got to meet for the first time in real life today.)