Dystopias, Real & Imagined will be offered at Xavier University of Louisiana in Spring 2020.

XCOR 3010 (3 hours) challenges students to think more deeply about ideas, practices, and values that align with Xavier’s mission and reinforces critical thinking, as well as oral and written communication skills. Students learn to integrate diverse perspectives with a breadth and depth of knowledge, while also utilizing different methodologies to find solutions to complex problems. Students choose from a variety of unique seminar topics developed by faculty and organized around different “big ideas.”

Prerequisites:  Students must have passed XCOR 1011/XCOR 1012 and have completed at least 60 hours of undergraduate study.

In Dystopias, Real & Imagined we will explore the intersection between science fiction and reality by considering how the imaginary dystopias of literature and film are more realistic and more probable than we might want to realize. Over the course of the semester, we will attempt to identify the defining characteristics of a dystopia, to consider how those defining characteristics are able to develop in a “free society”, and to use those defining characteristics as acid tests against the real world. Ultimately, we will ask how the fictional trope of the dystopia can enable us to prevent the imaginary from becoming real.

Course Syllabus

This syllabus was developed using the guidelines developed by Palmer, Bach, and Streifer at the University of Virginia’s Center for Teaching Excellence. Based on their rubric, this syllabus qualifies as learner-focused. You can can also download a PDF version of the syllabus.

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