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Preliminary English Extension 1 Utopian & Dystopian Imaginings. Course Description. 12.5 PreliminaryEnglish (Extension) CourseRequirements

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course description
Course Description
  • 12.5 PreliminaryEnglish(Extension)CourseRequirements
  • In the Preliminary English (Extension) course, students explore how and why texts are valued in and appropriated into a range of contexts. They consider why some texts may be perceived as culturally significant.
  • Course Requirements
  • Students undertaking the Preliminary English (Extension) course must complete:
  • Module: Texts, Culture and Value
  • Students explore the ways in which aspects of texts from the past have been appropriated into popular culture. The module develops students’ understanding of how and why cultural values are maintained and changed.
  • Students examine a key text from the past and its manifestations in one or more popular cultures.
through close study they
Through close study they:
  • consider the relationships between the text and its culture
  • explore the language of the texts and examine the ways in which language shapes and reflects values
  • consider the effects of different ways of responding to texts
  • consider the ways and reasons the original and later manifestations of the text are valued.
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Students also explore, analyse and critically evaluate different examples of such appropriations in a range of contexts and media, including some appropriations of their own choosing.

  • Students develop a range of imaginative, interpretive and analytical compositions, including some which explore the relationships between key texts from the past and texts in popular culture. These compositions may be realised in various forms and media. Students investigate topics and ideas, engage in independent learning activities and develop skills in sustained composition.
elective utopian and dystopian imaginings
Elective: Utopian and dystopian imaginings
  • Through responding and composing students will explore, consider and interrogate the way in which utopian and dystopian ideas have been imagined and portrayed across a range of contexts.
  • Students will consider the values, experiences , and determinants conceived as central to states of perfection and bliss, destruction and misery and the merging of each.
course expectations
Course Expectations
  • In the first phase of the course, students will focus on the ways in which perfection has been imagined, valued, achieved and distorted, focusing on texts which span from the Renaissance to the turn of the 20th Century.
  • In the second phase, students will explore the rise of dystopian literature amidst the turmoil of the 20th Century, and the way in which cultural values and experiences are manifested in dystopian imaginings.
definitions
Definitions
  • Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions.
utopian characteristics
Utopian Characteristics
  • At heart utopian literature is social commentary: social criticism of what is and social suggestion of what could be.
  • Its means are social rearrangement. This is a crucial characteristic which distinguishes utopian literature from science fiction and fantasy, even when the line between is not obvious.
  • In a utopian novel the author imagines a society with a given set of social conditions, which are decidedly different from those of the author’s own society, however, the imagined utopian society needs to show some similarities so the Utopian society is recognisable and plausible.
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There are a few less crucial characteristics that utopian literature exhibits:

  • 1.The Utopia is usually far away in space, or time, or both, and the way of getting there is not clear or easy.
  • 2. The utopian literature does not provide a blue-print. It is not a formula of how exactly, things are to be done. Rather it is suggestive of how things could be if certain crucial social features were imagined to be different.
  • 3. utopian literature tends to be light- hearted and optimistic in nature.
utopian philosophy
Utopian Philosophy?
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peSpUDMcGR8
definitions1
Definitions
  • Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst‐case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.
characteristics of a typical dystopian society
Characteristics of a ‘typical’ Dystopian Society
  • Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
  • Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
  • A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
  • Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
  • Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
  • Citizens live in a dehumanised state.
  • The natural world is banished and distrusted.
  • Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad.
  • The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
types of dystopian controls
Types of Dystopian Controls
  • Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls:
  • Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Examples include Minority Report and Running Man.
  • Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials. Examples in film include Brazil.
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Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Examples include The Matrix, The Terminator, and I, Robot.

  • Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.
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The Dystopian Protagonist:

  • often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.
  • questions the existing social and political systems.
  • believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives.
  • helps the audience recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.