What do imaginative worlds reveal about our fears and desires? This class studies the linked concepts of “utopia” and “dystopia” throughout their history from Renaissance political philosophy to twentieth-century cautionary tales of totalitarianism and environmental catastrophe. Our course will engage with classics of the genre including Gulliver’s Travels, The Time Machine, and 1984, as well as recent films such as Mad Max and Elysium. Throughout our readings, we will develop a critical vocabulary for discussing issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and environment. Assignments will include response papers and a longer essay.