Thursday, April 23, 2015

Great summer VLPA/W course on Utopian/Dystopian Fictions

Course Details:
SLN 11302
English 200B: Utopian/Dystopian societies in contemporary fiction Summer (A term)
VLPA and W credit
Professor John O'Neill -
M, T, W, Th, 10:50am - 1:00pm
A term, June 22 - July 22

As Fox TV cast a "reality" series titled "Utopia," an article in the Seattle Times chronicled "the current craze for post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories." What accounts for this interest, evident in both popular culture and literature, in alternative communities or societies, whether these are anarchic or authoritarian, reminiscent of the state of nature or suggestive of a surveillance state?

In this class we will read three recent novels, set in the recent past, a recognizable present, or the near future, that experiment with different mixes of utopian, anti-utopian, and dystopian elements. We will engage with the literary elements of these novels, and explore some of the political and social implications of this turn in contemporary culture.

Novels by Dave Eggers, Chang-Rae Lee, and Lauren Groff.

Three short essays, group work, and class discussion.