• Course Number: ENGL 234
  • Prerequisites:

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  • Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 234
  • Quarter: Spring 2021

This course explores the relationships between ecological and utopian thought, beginning with two classical utopias, Thomas More’s Utopia and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, before considering how nineteenth century writers imaginatively experiment in imagining the “well nigh utopian dignity” of Indigenous peoples, islands, and vegetarians. Turning to the histories and ethics of deliberate environmental and social transformation, particularly in the Global South, we will consider twentieth century ecologists’ visions of engineering new orders, including the “ecotopias” of the 1970s. Throughout, we will explore how European and Euro-American writers have linked utopia to the Pacific but have elided Indigenous Pacific peoples and cultures. We will finish this course with Hawaiian and Māori reflections on utopia and science fiction. As well as considering the forms and work of literary utopia, we will explore utopian preoccupations such as islands and oceans; utopias of (or against) science; environmental engineering; empire; and utopias without humans.


  • Schedule & Location
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