Social Dreaming: Women in American Utopian and Dystopian Texts (Bridgitte Barclay)

Course Description:

Because utopian literature expresses what an author desires, what the author feels is lacking in his or her own society, it is inherently a political and social critique.  This course focuses on a variety of nineteenth and twentieth-century texts that deal with utopian and dystopian expressions of women’s desires.  Students will study the historical, political, and cultural aspects of women’s situations and how those situations impact literature and vise versa.  Students will also study this literature’s
relevance to people’s daily lives, what is left lacking in utopian expressions, and the results of realized utopian hopes.  This approach to texts will allow students to enjoy the literature for its own aesthetic value and for its relation to and reflection of the culture in which it was written and the desires it expresses.

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