Richard R Boyechko
C LIT 240
Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.
In this course we will begin exploring the theme of human hopes and fears about the future, specifically those that deal with the society as a whole rather than individual aspirations. While such "dreams of the future" were found in the oral and written traditions of virtually all human socities, after Sir Thomas More published one such dream, _Utopia_ (1516), the name he chose came to be used stuck. While the original was a pun on outopia (no place) and eutopia (good place), and therefore implies that it was intended as a better place than the society in which the author lived, a future that is significantly worse eventually came to be known as a dystopia (bad place). During the next three months, we will read several cultural texts (mostly science fiction) that range from eutopias to dystopias. Our modest goal is to understand not only these particular texts, but also what role they play in our own society.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The class will rely heavily on in-class discussions of the course texts. There will also be short lectures and activities designed to improve the students' writing.
Class assignments and grading
The assignments will included two longer essays (4-5 pages), one or two short essays (1-2 pages), a short 5-minute presentation on a utopian/dystopian text of your choosing, and a reading journal that should be kept throughout the term.
Grades are assigned based on a rubric negotiated with the students during the first week or two. Essays will be evaluated based on rubrics (customized for each paper) that will be available before the essay is due.