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Science Fiction and Empathy

Of all the various genres in commercial fiction, science fiction promote empathy, resiliency, and understanding.  This course discusses the importance of empathy, how science fiction incorporates it in storytelling, and how authors can learn how to write the other and input empathy in their characters. 


Starting date

Always Available


9 weeks



What you are going to learn

A few more words about this course

This course will provide an in-depth look at the relationship between reading science fiction and its increase in our empathy, resiliency, and understanding.
Throughout this course, 
  • Students will learn the definition of science fiction and fantasy.
  • Students will learn how reading science fiction can improve their ability to be empathetic and why it is important.
  • Students will be able to incorporate empathy into their stories and creative works.
  • Students will learn how reading diversely strengthens their empathy.
  • Students will investigate case studies of short science fiction stories that utilize empathetic characters.
  • Students will explain Star Trek and Star Wars use of empathy in their characters.

Nicole Givens Kurtz

Author, Educator, Publisher
Nicole Givens Kurtz is an author, editor, and educator. She's the recipient of the Horror Writers Association's Diversity Grant and the Atomacon Palmetto Scribe Award-Best Short Story 2021. She's also the editor of the groundbreaking anthology, SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire. Her novels have been a finalist in the Dream Realm Awards, Fresh Voices, and EPPIE Awards for science fiction. Nicole has over 40 short stories published as well as numerous novels and three active speculative mystery series. She's a member of Horror Writers Association, Sisters in Crime, and Science Fiction Writers of America.
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