Tales of Hope or States of Delusion? Utopias, Past and Present|
Fall 2017 not offered
Utopias are imaginary places that offer freedom, equality, and happiness--or so they promise. In this course, we will look at different visions of utopian living: What kinds of longing and impulses do these utopias fulfill? What kind of social critique do they imply? How can they offer freedom and happiness, if they are built on strict programs of biological, psychological, and social engineering? When does one person's utopia become another's dystopia?
We will turn first to ancient Greek poetry and philosophy--Homer, tragedy, comedy, and Plato--to trace the beginnings of utopian thinking and the promises that it makes. In the last part of the semester, we will look at how these early seeds of utopia are recast and developed in later and contemporary literature, theory, and film including Thomas More's UTOPIA, Yevgeny Zamyatin's WE, and B. F. Skiner's WALDEN TWO; selections from T. Adorno, E. Bloch, and F. Jameson; films such as 1984, Gattaca, and Her, and select episodes from Pushing Daisies.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CLST-History, P)
Homer, ODYSSEY (selections)
Aristophanes, ASSEMBLY WOMEN
Thomas More, UTOPIA
Yevgeny Zamyatin, WE
B.F. Skiner, WALDEN 2
Selections from Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch, and Fredric Jameson
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly brief responses to the readings; 1 presentation; 3 papers.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Regular attendance and active participation.
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