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Dystopian novels have become commonplace. But why now? Why do we seem to be experiencing a heightened anxiety over apocalypse? We will consider two types of dystopian visions–those that present a post-apocalyptic world, and those that conjure up wrecked societies out of current evils. Both types present the world we know now as either lost or full of losers. As we visit a variety of recently imagined American dystopias, we will focus on the ethical dilemmas imposed by prospects of our diminished state: the inevitable issues of class, and the divisions of race and gender; the prospects of anarchy and political oppression; and the threat of technology to our identity and our environment. The class will will also focus on techniques to improve your critical reasoning and analytical skills with the goal of writing interesting and well-argued essays.
Format: seminar; The course will be taught remotely.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Two five-page essays, and one final 10-page essay, as well as several short writing assignments. Active seminar participation.
The class is primarily design as a writing intensive. I plan on assigning two five-page essays and one 8-10 page essay. The shorter essays will be graded with comments, and either be peer reviewed, or short passages will be selected for class discussion and revision. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.
ENGL Criticism Courses