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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Delving into Dune,” an exploration of religion and race in the classic science fiction novel and all that the book has inspired, with Peter Herman, former lecturer of theology and religious studies at Marymount University and scholar of religious and social themes in science fiction.
[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]
The highly acclaimed Dune film released in September is just the latest of several creative works arising from Frank Herbert’s beloved 1965 novel of the same name. Its descendants include 14 other novels, a TV miniseries, and two movies (as well as one aborted movie attempt by cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky, itself the subject of a documentary.)
Be on hand as Peter Herman, a scholar of science fiction, tackles some of the biggest questions raised in connection with Dune and its offspring.
Dr. Herman will look at how Herbert and other science-fiction and fantasy authors have handled metaphysical subjects such as the meaning of life and the universe. He’ll explore how such writers have constructed religious systems and produced fiction that serves much the same purpose that religious texts served before. Might fiction authors displace compilers of scripture in trying to offer the answers to our lives’ big questions?
Turning his attention to matters of race, he’ll examine the debate among Herbert’s readers as to whether the author was satirizing desert preoccupation with the riches of the desert, or sincerely writing from a viewpoint that was highly orientalist, perpetuating stereotypes about Asia and the Middle East.
Fans of the Dune franchise—or science fiction in general—will find plenty in this talk to deepen their understanding and appreciation of such works. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)