For the Greater Good: Satire and Dystopian Fiction

Spring 2017

FRPG 2062
Instructor: Rebecca Jewell
Meeting Days/Times: Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.
This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

In this course we will examine television shows like The Simpsons, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report; read novels such as Fahrenheit 451, Fight Club, and This Perfect Day; and watch films including Brazil, Gattaca, Idiocracy, and V for Vendetta to examine how satire serves an important social function. Through exaggeration and humor, satirical works make social commentaries about pressing issues, asking us to examine those issues with new perspectives. The more chilling satires, however, draw not from humor, but from nightmarish visions of dystopia—visions of societies gone wrong. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, satire and dystopian fiction can be seen as two sides of the same coin—both express narratives of discontent that lead us to question society and imagine both the best and worst that humanity has to offer. Through our exploration of the topic, students will practice advanced research techniques through locating primary and secondary sources and will hone oral communication skills by presenting on selected topics.

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