Empire State College:  State University of New York Skip navigation Home | MyESC | Site Index


Online Learning Home > Online Learning Catalog > Communications Humanities and Cultural Studies >

Course Description:

This is a study of utopian literature, a genre characterized by narratives about ideal communities -- places where people live without war, hunger, or need. Such narratives use a variety of fictional situations (such as dreams, travel tales, futuristic visions) to present the ideal culture.

The texts present particular challenges to the reader, demanding personal considerations of such questions as: What is an ideal society? What potential for peace and equality do humans possess? In what ways do our contemporary cultures manifest a utopian impulse, if they do? Is the concept of utopia of value -- if so, why? As with any examination of other cultures (real or fictional), this study will assist readers to examine their own culture, to reflect on it from a broader perspective and to develop new insight into our own cultural assumptions and values.

Students entering this study should be prepared to read works that vary greatly in style and should be comfortable with the central concepts of literature. This level of experience could be provided by prior academic work in literature. Students should also be strong writers and comfortable with research methods; this learning is often provided through introductory studies such as College Writing.

This course fully meets the General Education requirement in Humanities.

This online course is offered through Online Learning. You can take this as an individual course or as part of an online degree program, with term starts in March, May, September, November and January. View current term offerings and all online courses. Click here to register for online courses.

Other Areas: The Arts | Business, Management & Economics | Community & Human Services | Communications, Humanities & Cultural Studies | Educational Studies | Historical Studies | Human Development | Labor Studies | Nursing | Science, Math & Technology | Social Science
Liberal Study
Upper Level
Credits: 4
Meets General Education Requirement In: Humanities-Full

Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Spring 1.

For Books and Materials List Go to the Online Bookstore