Tales of Hope or States of Delusion? Utopias, Past and Present|
Fall 2018 not offered
Utopias are imaginary places that promise freedom, equality, and happiness. 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, while built on strict programs of biological, psychological, and social engineering? When does one's utopia become another's dystopia?
We will start with ancient Greek poetry and philosophy--Homer, tragedy, Aristophanic 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 Emily St. John Mandel STATION ELEVEN; selections from T. Adorno, E. Bloch, and F. Jameson; films such as Gattaca, and Her, and select episodes from Black Mirror.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
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
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly brief responses to the readings; 1 presentation; 3 papers.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Regular attendance and active participation.