Oct 04, 2023  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [PAST CATALOG]

HON 105 - Utopia and Dystopia: An Honors Seminar

3 credit hours - Three hours weekly; one term.
This course meets the Arts & Humanities General Education Requirement

Read and discuss texts by Plato, More, Voltaire, Swift, Jefferson, Skinner, Hoban and others. Central concern is the ways in which Western writers have modeled ideal societies. Recurring themes are how the model of an ideal society can be applied to a real society, how the ideal society fails in practice, how the utopian vision serves as a critique of society, and how the dystopian vision serves as a critique of utopian visions.

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the honors program.

Course Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Assess how texts and genres address a shared subject.
    • Interpret ways a shared idea is handled in different texts.
    • Analyze how a text’s genre affects the rendering of a shared idea.
    • Compare the similarities and distinguishing differences of a shared idea in multiple texts.
    • Write academic essays that explain and evaluate the shared data.
  • Describe how reading and writing influences one’s knowledge and understanding.
    • Identify differences between utopian and dystopian literature.
    • Document changes in social models from Plato to Skinner.
    • Identify untenable governing strategies.
    • Recognize the functions and responsibilities of the individual in society.
  • Evaluate types of learning processes.
    • Define and differentiate among key terms related to utopian and dystopian literature.
    • Classify the ways humans organize societies.
    • Compare the ideal societies of utopian literature with actual societies.
    • Recognize how dystopian literature critiques actual societies.
    • Participate in and practice dialectic (Socratic method) as a means of reasoning.
  • Formulate an analysis of social models.
    • Recognize the differences between forms of government.
    • Distinguish between ideal social models and working societies.
    • Critique the successes and failures of societies to adhere to ideal models.
    • Critique justice in ideal and working societies.
    • Examine criminal justice systems in utopian fiction and working societies.
    • Understand the role of education, art, and leisure in utopian fiction and working societies.
    • Understand the roots of American democracy in utopian thought.
Core Competencies
Core 1 Communication Core 2 Technology Fluency Core 3 Information Literacy Core 8 Social and Civic Responsibility Core 9 Global Perspective Core 10 Innovative and Critical Thinking