|dc.description.abstract||In the twenty-first century, dystopian fiction is everywhere. From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy, which were recently adapted for television and film, this type of fiction portrays imaginary societies that are “dystopian”: societies that intensify the most troubling aspects of the real world (political authoritarianism, encroaching technocracy, environmental degradation) in order to create fictional “bad places” that serve as warnings for audiences. As these particular examples suggest, dystopian fiction by and about women is of particular interest in the twenty-first century. Though Atwood and Collins construct dystopian societies and texts, their heroines—Offred and Katniss Everdeen—provide hope that we can characterize as “utopian”: hope that their dismal situation (and ours) can be transformed for the better, into something resembling a “good place.” In this course, we will read dystopian short stories and film, and you will learn the fundamentals of college-level writing as you compose argumentative essays about these works.
Course Objectives and Goals
This course is an introduction to college level writing that will teach you to develop, organize, and present your ideas. It will begin with a close reading essay on Ursula Le Guin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” followed by an essay comparing the film adaptation of The Hunger Games to Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” The course will conclude with a research argument on Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Throughout, we will emphasize that writing is an ongoing process of thinking and learning. This process begins when you ask questions about a text or subject, continues through note taking and other forms of pre-writing, and develops into a presentable product through cycles of drafting, feedback, and revision. These techniques will apply to writing beyond this course, to any subject demanding clear, logical, and cogent exposition. By the end of the course, students will:
• Become more effective writers in their academic and professional lives
• Learn to assess the content and quality of their own ideas
• Develop sound research skills to structure and inform their thinking
• Practice critical thought in relation classic works of literature||en_US