Futures (Im)Perfect: Utopian and Dystopian Literature
An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.
Pre-college courses to explore specific disciplines
3-Weeks live, online courses during holidays
India's best faculty, amazing peers & learning support
Completion certificate from ashoka university
About The Course
Throughout history, writers have imagined what a perfect world would look like: a world with no war, violence, suffering, or injustice. A word for this idea, utopia, was coined by Thomas More in the sixteenth century and means both “good place” and “no place.” Dystopia, utopia’s evil twin, on the other hand, is a world where nothing is perfect. Sound familiar?
In this course, we will survey some of the literatures of utopia and dystopia, from Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) to the Hunger Games, asking questions such as: What defines utopia and/or dystopia as a genre? What is the relationship between utopia and dystopia? And is it possible to remain utopian in a dystopian world?
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Learning Support for the Course
Roshan Roy is a graduate of English Literature from Ashoka University. He is currently studying Advanced English Literature as a young scholar in the Ashoka Scholars Program. His ongoing thesis research aims to uncover the links between sexuality, desire, and obscenity in song/dance through the 17th and 18th-century temple performers—Kalvants (or Devadasis)—from Goa. As a creative writer, he has written personal essays, photo essays, and opinion pieces for online magazines such as Alma Magazine, InPlainspeak by Tarshi, and OpenAxis. He is also the assistant editor of a forthcoming book titled “Unheard Voices,” a collaborative ethnographic work—with organizations such as The Chinky Homo Project and Mariwala Health Institute—to understand mental health in Northeast India through the stories of queer individuals across the region. Apart from this, he can be usually found reading anything non-fiction, and singing Adele or Passenger songs.
Hear from Past Learners
The AshokaX Popular Culture & International Relations course was one of the most enriching educational experiences I have taken part in. The course not only gave me an insight into International Relations as a discipline but also changed my perspective towards online learning.
The Shishukunj International School
I was fortunate enough to attend Ashoka X's 'International Relations and Popular Culture' Course. Before enrolling, I was a complete novice in the domain of foreign affairs but after completing the course, I am now confident in the IR field and it has helped me in registering for a competition! The course really did 'Expand My Horizons'.
John Priyanshu Singh
Don Bosco School, Bandel, West Bengal
The 'Writing Across Forms' course at AshokaX, taught by Sumana Roy, was really very helpful for me as a still-amateur writer, and exposed me to a lot of ideas and works I hadn't encountered before, as well as a bunch of other young writers - I enjoyed it a lot!
The 'Creativity and Design Thinking' course essentially rewired my thinking process. Through interactive and engaging classes, we were shown techniques that are tools I can carry forward and use in all future problem-solving.