108年第1學期-5088 烏托邦文學 課程資訊
|Two major in class presentations||20||2 x 10 % = 20 % (2nd presentation will be about final paper)|
|End of semester paper||50|
|Attendance and participation||10|
Utopian writings use a variety of plots and settings to depict ideal communities in which the inhabitants live in harmony and happiness. This seemingly straightforward idea, that is, that a perfect or near-perfect human condition is possible on earth, has elicited very diverse responses from critics and readers. Oscar Wilde, for example, held that “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing,” whereas Thomas Macaulay sneered “An acre of Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia.” This course surveys the history of utopian and dystopian (anti-utopian) literature from Plato’s The Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels to modern works by William Morris (News from Nowhere), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-four), and Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale). We study the writings in their specific historical contexts and examine the literary, political and philosophical agendas which the utopian genre has served. Due attention is also paid to the connections between utopian writings and other genres such as the philosophical treatise, travel literature, satire, fantasy literature, and dream allegories. A number of important film interpretations of the utopian theme will also be covered, including, for example, Metropolis, Soylent Green, Blade Runner, Gattica, and so forth. Additional text and film selections will be made depending on student interest.
Utopian writings use a variety of plots and settings to depict ideal communities in which all inhabitants live in harmony and happiness.
Office HourTuesdays: 8.10-10 am and by appointment; Office B on FLLD 3rd Floor
In addition to the primary texts listed in the course description, we will also make use of the following secondary sources:
John Carey, ed., The Faber Book of Utopias (Faber, 2000).
Gregory Claeys and Lyman Tower Sargent, eds., The Utopia Reader Paperback (NY UP, 1999).
Gregory Claeys, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature (Cambridge UP; 2010).
Chris Ferns, Narrating Utopia: Ideology, Gender, Form in Utopian Literature (Liverpool UP, 1999).
Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature (ABC-CLIO Literary Companion, 1995).