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ENG395L - Utopia/Dystopia Fiction


Subject code


Course Number




K. Adkison

Course Long Title

Utopia/Dystopia Fiction


What does it mean to live the "good life"? How is this related to building, planning, desiring, or dwelling in a "good place"? How do plans and policies for good life morph into bad places? Are good places always exclusionary, and thus foundationally bad places for some? This course traces two trends side by side: the early modern vogue for utopia-fictions, such as Thomas More's Utopia, and the twentieth- and twenty-first-century turn to dystopia-fictions, such as Orwell’s 1984. Students consider relationships of genre, politics, identity, modernity, and colonialism between these two trends, while broadly considering the relationship among power, place, and community.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


Class Restriction

Exclude First Years