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School of Politics and International Relations

POL380 Utopia and Dystopia: Political, Economic and Literary Dreamworlds

(POL380B – Spring)

Level: 6

Credits: 15 credits

Semester: A

Contact: Professor James Dunkerley 

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Compulsory for: None

Associate availability: Full year and Autumn 


This module introduces students to a wide range of approaches to Utopian and Dystopian thought and literature. It concentrates on political, economic, and literary dreamworlds since the 16th century. Imagination means ‘image making’, and in this sense, we look at utopias as images, snapshots of political desire that reproduce, in the negative, darkness as light, light as darkness, a set geometry of oppression, the contours of a present frustrated.

Assessment: 1 x 2,000 word Book Review (35%) & 1 x 3,000 word Essay (65%)