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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

CRWT 40.08 Dystopian Visions: Exploring the Fiction of Catastrophe and Apocalypse

What do dystopian fictions say about our world, our place in it, and the future before us? Are they merely reactions to damaging contemporary trends or richly imaginative, fully realized conceptions of what is to come? Via intensive reading, discussion of work in the genre in combination with contemporary essays, newspaper accounts, film and documentary, we will consider the power of fiction to shape and draw attention to the dilemmas that face humankind in the 21st century and beyond. We will touch upon and reference those earlier works that have shaped the genre, such as We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and 1984 by George Orwell, but our primary focus will be on those fictions of the last forty years that ring prophetically and frighteningly true vis-à-vis events in our current world. We’ll be reading a wide variety of authors, which may include, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy, J.G. Ballard, John Wyndham, Richard Matheson, and Anthony Burgess. Students will write two short stories that extend a particular author’s dystopian vision, and a longer fiction originating from their own imaginings.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:ART; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group III