Oct 03, 2023  
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

US 268 Utopia/Dystopia

In this course students examine the development of utopian thought from several disciplinary angles-philosophical, political, literary, religious, and architectural. In doing so students will also explore the myriad ways in which utopian longings have manifested themselves, from philosophical treatises and novels, to experimental living on communes and urban planning. As students examine a number of different utopian ideas-ranging from Plato’s Republic to the modern development of Disney’s private town, Celebration-they will ask the following questions: what motivates people to try to construct a perfect world? Whose definition of utopia is used to construct these alternate societies? Can one person’s utopia be another person’s dystopia? What do utopian and dystopian expressions tell us about a society’s values? In pursuit of answers to these questions students will write short critical responses to weekly readings, compose two formal papers, and work collaboratively with a group to develop the contours of an original utopian community.