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Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature

Written by: Pamela Bedore, The Great Courses
Narrated by: Pamela Bedore
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Publisher's Summary

Can literature change our real world society? At its foundation, utopian and dystopian fiction asks a few seemingly simple questions aimed at doing just that. Who are we as a society? Who do we want to be? Who are we afraid we might become? When these questions are framed in the speculative versions of Heaven and Hell on earth, you won't find easy answers, but you will find tremendously insightful and often entertaining perspectives.

Utopian and dystopian writing sits at the crossroads of literature and other important academic disciplines such as philosophy, history, psychology, politics, and sociology. It serves as a useful tool to discuss our present condition and future prospects - to imagine a better tomorrow and warn of dangerous possibilities. To examine the future of mankind through detailed and fascinating stories that highlight and exploit our anxieties in adventurous, thought-provoking, and engaging ways. From Thomas More's foundational text Utopia published in 1516 to the 21st-century phenomenon of The Hunger Games, dive into stories that seek to find the best - and the worst - in humanity, with the hope of better understanding ourselves and the world. Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature delivers 24 illuminating lectures, led by Pamela Bedore, Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, which plunge you into the history and development of utopian ideas and their dystopian counterparts. You'll encounter some of the most powerful and influential texts in this genre as you travel centuries into the past and thousands of years into the future, through worlds that are beautiful, laughable, terrifying, and always thought-provoking.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

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What listeners say about Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature

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Amazing Listen!

So many books I have to read now! Highly recommended to listen to it.

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Great Course!

Dr. Bedore is an excellent speaker. Absolutely loved this course. It’s a great way to learn about the genre of utopian and dystopian fiction - some works are super famous, many others were new to me. My summer fiction list just quadrupled. Thanks!

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If you like Westworld, Bioshock, or Fallout

If you like any of those dystopian themes, I’m guessing you like this one. I’ve previously read a few of the discussed works, now I’m going to re-read them with a new appreciation and read the ones I haven’t read, either because didn’t think they’d be interesting or kinda scared of them(looking at you Clockwork Orange)

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