Fall 1998

Course No. & Section:

Honors 498 & Econ. 398

Course Title: Utopia and Society

Instructor: Dr. James Devine



Course Description (principal topics covered):

This course examines the conflicts between individual desires and societal necessities under modern Western capitalism and after, using the lens of utopian (eutopian and dystopian) novels and political philosophy. We will analyze how societal institutions have been historically constructed and practiced and how utopian thinking has responded, by reading both the novels and supporting readings. Plato's Republic is discussed as both the first clear example of utopian thinking and as a response to the societal developments of his era.

Prerequisites/Recommended Background:

This is an advanced seminar in the Honors program. Economics students and other majors may take it with permission of the instruction (i.e., me).

Required Texts:

Plato's Republic (Cornford Transl.), selections.

Thomas More, Utopia.

Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Pohl and Kornbluth, The Space Merchants.

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward.

William Morris, News From Nowhere.

George Orwell, 1984.

Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time.

and additional readings on reserve in the library

Course Work/Expectations:

Reading, writing, and discussion.

Active participation is crucial, including a required in-class presentation.

Midterm & Final.

Long Paper (10 15 pages)

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Last modified: Sunday, November 8, 1998. Created by: James Devine - jdevine@popmail.lmu.edu