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Philosophy in Literature course focuses on utopia

PHIL 381: Philosophy in Literature - Image of "Alpine Architecture" by Bruno Taut


February 15, 2016

What is a utopia and what inspires people to imagine them? Do utopias function primarily as a critique of the existing world? Or are the worlds conceived of by utopians realizable? Are utopias inherently authoritarian? Do they represent a world that we can hope for, are they just idle fantasies, or are they perhaps dangerous? Students will explore these questions and more in Philosophy in Literature (PHIL 381.001, cross-listed with ENGL 395.001), offered by the Department of English and Philosophy in Spring Quarter 2016.

Discussion will stem from the following utopian and dystopian science fiction novels: "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. Le Guin, "Trouble on Triton" by Samuel Delany, "The Female Man" by Joanna Russ, and "Riddley Walker" by Russell Hoban. These works of fiction will be supplemented with texts by Ernst Bloch, Thomas More, José Esteban Muñoz, Valerie Solanas, Donna Haraway, Frederic Jameson and others. 

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Eric Fleming, PhD, will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 2 - 2:50 p.m. Location TBD.