Honors | Junior Honors Seminar (ENG)
L399 | 7267 | Karma Lochrie

Please obtain permission from the English department.

TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

Utopianism as Thomas More imagined it is dead, according to Russell
Jacoby, in a postmodern age “sapped of the utopian impulse.”  What
does it mean to live in a post-utopian world?  This course will
begin with this dilemma as a way of considering what utopianism as a
concept means and how utopia as a genre of literature works.  Most
genealogies of utopia begin with Thomas More in 1516, since he
coined the term and wrote the first work of that name, but this
course will look beyond More back to medieval ways of imagining
ideal communities.  It will include works by Plato, William
Langland, Thomas More, Margaret Cavendish, Edward Bellamy, William
Morris,  and Octavia Butler.  In addition to the literary texts, the
course will make use of the philosophical tradition surrounding
utopia from Bloch to more recent philosophical discussions of
cosmopolitanism.  The seminar will rely on lively student attendance
and discussion.  Written requirements for the course will include
several short papers and one longer research project of the
student’s choosing.