Utopias and Dystopias

This module will examine the s/ f sub-genre of utopias and dystopias in fictional literature. It will address the following questions: What is the appeal of imaginative utopias and dystopias? What is the relation of these fictions to the world of contemporary reality? To alternative ways of conceiving life, experience, or reality? To traditional history? To alternative futures? To projections of, and apprehensions about human society? How does the imaginative construction of dystopias, in particular, address the constantly changing relation of science and technology to human life as we know it, to the human individual, to human society, and to the many institutions and notions, from gender and sexuality to race, family, nation, religion and species through which the relation of the individual to the group is mediated in time and place? Dystopian and Utopian fiction will be studied as imaginative constructions of extrapolations from current technology and science, or as possible worlds with alternative selves, life-forms, ecosystems, or histories.

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