Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
English 200A, "Utopian/Dystopian Societies in Contemporary Fiction" fulfills both VLPA and W requirements, and is designed to introduce students to techniques and practices for reading and enjoying literature.
As Fox TV casts for a new “reality” series to be titled “Utopia,” a recent article in The Seattle Times chronicles “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, alternately set in the recent past, a recognizable present, or the near future, that experiment with different mixes of utopian, anti-utopian, and dystopian elements. As much as we will focus on the literary elements of these novels, we will also explore some of the political and social implications of this dystopian turn in contemporary culture.
Novels by Dave Eggers, Chang-Rae Lee, and Lauren Groff.
Questions? Contact the instructor, John O'Neill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Three short essays, group work, and class discussion.