AMST 302
American Utopias (Junior Seminar in AMST)
Last Offered Fall 2007
Division II
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

“The world is now too dangerous for anything less than Utopia,” wrote Buckminster Fuller in the wake of WWII. Since the nation’s founding Americans have aspired toward a “promised land” or “good life” just beyond the reach of the real world. This junior seminar will focus on utopian thinking, social practices and expressive arts. Reading in the fields of religion, literature, art, urban planning, music, education, film and sociology, we will consider the needs that give rise to utopian visions and the strategies people have used to realize these imagined worlds. How may we account for the failures and successes of such experiments? Among other topics, we will look at the nation-long history of millenarianism, culminating in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind novels, best-selling Christian literature of the rapture and apocalypse. The class will take trips to sites of historical utopian communities and contemporary intentional communities. Authors include Marx, Ann Lee, Thoreau, Wells-Barnett, Bellamy, Gilman, Garvey, Fuller, Samuel Delaney, David Harvey and TourĂ©.
The Class: Format: seminar
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based up class participation and written assignments (including two 5-page papers and one 10- to 12-page final essay)
Prerequisites: American Studies 201
Enrollment Preferences: enrollment limited to junior American Studies majors and to those American Studies majors will be or have been away during their junior year
Distributions: Division II

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