History | Visions of Utopia & Terror in Modern European Culture
B300 | 0391 | Callahan
1:10-2:25P D BH245
Above section open to undergraduates only.
Utopian visions of the future have for centuries captured the popular
imagination of the European mind. Clerics, industrialists,
philosophers, scientists, political leaders, and writers have produced
a vast array of detailed blueprints on how to organize an ideal
community. Utopian thinkers have envisioned in the rational
organization of society and the use of technology ways to achieve
personal, social, and sexual liberation. Visions of utopia have also,
however, engendered ghastly images of nightmare and terror,
totalitarianism and loss of individuality. The experience of Italian
and German fascism and Soviet Communism gave rise to a new prominent
literary genre in Western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the
student movements and found expression in the notions of Ecotopia and
Econotopia. The project of European unity since World War II also
reflects utopian and idealistic thought.
Major Themes: Religious and Socialist Utopias, Apocalypse, Science
Fiction, Visions of the Future in Modern Film, Utopia and Terror in
Soviet Communism, Italian Fascism, and German Nazism, the project of
European Unity, and the Green Movement.
Course Requirements: Students are expected to write 2 short papers, a
term paper, and to take a final exam. Participation and class
discussion will be the central emphasis of the course.
Readings: Readings will consist mainly of novels and primary documents
and a course packet that contains excerpts from articles and
Course Packet: Thomas Moore, Utopia; George Orwell, Animal Farm;
Alexander Bogdanov, Red Star; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Erich Fromm, Marx's Concept of Man