Utopian Planning from Plato's Republic to UFO Cults|
Fall 2017 not offered
What does the perfect society look like? What are the barriers to realizing it? For centuries, schemers, dreamers, and radicals have turned to fiction to imagine the answers to these questions. In this course, we will look at the long history of texts that imagine ideal societies, beginning with Plato's Republic, moving through its Renaissance revivals, and concluding with 19th- and 20th-century texts that turned the language of utopia to address issues of gender, class, and race. We conclude with a section on the realization of utopia, in which we read literary works that imagine the barriers and follies that accompany attempts to put these plans into reality and look at examples of groups--cults, convents, and communes--that have attempted to create utopian communities. We will even head to the Shaker village in nearby Enfield, Connecticut to see the remains of a 19th-century utopian experiment.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Bacon, NEW ATLANTIS
Bellamy, LOOKING BACKWARD
Griggs, IMPERIUM IN IMPERIO
Shakespeare, THE TEMPEST
Hawthorne, THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE
|Examination and Assignments: |
A close-reading paper, a "conversation" essay that deals with two primary texts, and a final research paper in which students will analyze an artifact (textual, visual, or architectural) from a real-world attempt at "utopia" taken from a planned community of their choice (cults, eco-villages, communes).