Why do bleak visions of the future recur in the twentieth century, despite the progress and human betterment promised by science, technology, and the expansion of liberal values? This course considers the ways in which the future has been conceived in the West since the eighteenth century. It presents an eclectic, intensive exploration of utopian hopes and dystopian fears in the West. Topics include: ambivalence about science, reason, and machines, scientific management, bureaucratisation, eugenics and fears of racial decline, mass conformity and robots, dictatorship, surveillance and the loss of freedom, cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and the euphoric collapse of conventional boundaries.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- To examine the Western obsession with directing social changes from the Enlightenment to contemporary times
- To show how the hope for better societies has been linked with modernisation and faith in scientific progress
- To trace the turn from utopias to dystopias in the 20th century
- To analyze the utopic & dystopic projections to the future as a reflect of current social issues
- To contrast scientifically based dreams of the future with religiously based ones in contemporary societies
- To strengthen students' ability to recognize and critically assess key social patterns and cultural themes
- To reflect on the links between modernization, individualism and the scientific critique of tradition
- To encourage critical and innovative thinking about modernization and the role of science in social changes
1,500 word essay (35%), 2,500 word essay (55%) and tutorial participation (10%).
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Two 1-hour lectures per week and 10 1-hour tutorials.
Lectures will be taped.
Requisite and Incompatibility
To be advised.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Band 1
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery|
|10107||24 Jul 2017||31 Jul 2017||31 Aug 2017||27 Oct 2017||In Person|