Slavic R5A, Section 2: Reading & Composition: Encounters with Utopia

MWF 8-9, 106 Dwinelle. Instructor: Megan Barickman.

Units: 4

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the first half or the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

Thomas More first coined the term “utopia” (meaning “no place” in Greek) in the 16th century, to describe his vision of the perfect society that could never be fully realized. Since then, numerous authors have written accounts of their own visions of “utopia,” hoping to convince readers that life might be organized in a better way even if perfection can never be achieved. Most of our reading will chart the utopian tradition in Russian literature from the early 19th century through the first half of the 20th century, a period of time when innovations in science were changing the way that people thought about the human subject and many thinkers were engaged in an active debate about solutions to the political and social ills of the time.

The Forged Coupon, Leo Tolstoy
Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky (Norton Critical Editions)
We, Yuri Zamyatin (Modern Library Classics)
Course Reader

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement. Students may not enroll in nor attend R1A/R5A courses without completing this prerequisite.