Utopian literature has been around since Plato’s The Republic in 380 BC, but since WW2 dystopian literature has increasingly dominated mainstream publishing. What gave rise to the dystopian imagination, and how did post-WW2 events impact on our ability to imagine a better world?
The 3-part series will trace the history of Utopian literature, from Thomas More’s Utopia in 1516, before moving on to the popularity of Utopian literature prior to the events of WW2. We will also explore how WW2 and the rise of totalitarian states coincided with the plummet of the traditional utopian literature, and the growing popularity of critical utopian literature and dystopian fiction.
The series will wrap up with an exploration of the emergence of dystopian literature within mainstream literature, using examples such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, drawing a connection with current political and ecological trends that resonate with our inability to imagine a better world.
About Presenter Jess Zibung
Jess Zibung is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and the Program Coordinator for CAE Book Groups. Jess regularly writes and edits content for CAE Short Courses and reviews for Apple Books. Jess has completed RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing, Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) with a major in literary studies and has an Honours Degree in Media and Communication. Her essay ‘The Hypocrisy of Hybridity’ is published in the Spring 2018 edition of Overland Literary Journal, and her short stories have been published in Pencilled In and Verandah Literary Journals. Jess has also written and edited for various platforms in education and the Australian literary scene.