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Newtopia

baby
Maybe because of the long and fascinating (and learned and witty and wise) conversation held here a while back, but I thought that once upon a time I asked for suggestions of utopian novels.  I am going to be teaching a course (of my own devising, how nice) in Utopia as Fiction, a topic I've long pondered.  Students will be asked to write their own utopian fiction in the course of the class, and also read and critique a utopian novel or fiction selected from a list.  

I gave something like this course the very first time I taught at Yale (or anywhere), in a program called College Seminars, where students in the Yale colleges chose their own course to sponsor from many applications.  

I gave them a list then that now looks a bit stodgy and old-fashioned, though the new class would certainly still be offered Herland, Lost Horizon, maybe Walden Two or Robert Graves's  very peculiar Watch the North Wind Rise.  But I need hipper and more contemporary offerings.  (The Dispossessed will be on the main reading list.)  A Kim Stanley Robinson one about California was mentioned herein in connection with treatment of disabilities in Utopia.  Any others we can think of?  Remember, Utopia not Dystopia (or at least Utopia out of Dystopia.)

Comments

nihilistic_kid
Mar. 30th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Does dystopia disguised as utopia—and legitimately utopia for most—count? You might want to look at Harmony by Project Itoh. Japanese book, translated into English two years ago, won a citation for the Philip K. Dick award last year.
crowleycrow
Mar. 31st, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
I will check it out but "dystopia that is utopia for most" applies to many, starting with Brave New World. There's no doubt the problematic ones are engaging, but I think I am looking for ones where the author really believed in the worth of the world he/she projects.