Futures (Im)Perfect: Utopian and Dystopian Literature

An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.


Alexandra Verini

Course Dates

15th Dec-5th Jan 


6:30-8:00 pm


6 Hours/Week


INR 12,000

Apply by

12th December,2021

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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    Mahavir Jhawar

    Alexandra Verini

    Ph.D. University of California
    Alexandra Verini is an Assistant Professor of English at Ashoka University. She earned her Ph.D. in English at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2018. She also holds an M.A. in English from Columbia University and a B.A. in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Professor Verini’s research focuses on medieval and early modern literature and visual culture, gender and sexuality, friendship, religion, and utopia.

    Horizons Course Objectives

    Discover Your Interest and Aptitude

    Go Deep Into Specific Disciplines

    Learn with Amazing Peers from Schools across India

    Explore Unique Perspectives and Ideas

    Develop New Skills and Abilities

    Learning Support for the Course

    Roshan Roy

    Teaching Assistant

    Roshan Roy – Teaching Assistant
    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

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.