|Semester and Year||FA 2011|
|Time||6:20 PM - 7:35 PM|
Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
In the sixteenth century, Thomas More imagined his own ideal state. Instead of Eutopia, which means ‘happy place,’ More ironically named his imaginary island Utopia, which means simply ‘no place.’ The concept of utopia now carries both meanings and embodies the logical and ethical tensions that plague metaphorical (and sometimes geographical) borderlands between the ideal and the real. Associated with a diverse range of written genres from political philosophy to fiction, the name "utopia" is applied to real world communities, both secular and religious. Utopias are examined and challenged by critical theorists, and contemporary feminists, Marxists, environmentalists, and cosmopolitans continue to imagine new and complex utopias. In this course we will explore some of the following questions through a variety of texts and modes of textual analysis: Where did the notion of utopia come from and where is it going? What is the relationship between utopia and dystopia? Might it be dangerous to imagine and desire a utopia? What does the utopia one imagines say about who one is and the world one lives in? Students will write and revise three essays and a literary-critical essay. Readings may include work by Plato, Thomas More, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Edward Bellamy, Ernest Callenbach, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Richard Rorty, Charles Nordoff, Frederic Jameson, and Krishan Kumar.
First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)