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ENRICH-0036 – Lit: 1984 & The Handmaid's Tale (ENRICH-0036_1984)

Dealing with Dystopia: The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984

As U.S. politics become more fraught and volatile than perhaps ever before, a resurgence of interest (and sales) in dystopian literature has risen in response. Two tales of harrowing possibility, Margaret Atwood’s feminist fable, The Handmaid's Tale and George Orwell’s cataclysmic classic, 1984, have been especially popular—perhaps for the ways in which they resemble or recall elements of our current cultural climate. Join author Courtney E. Morgan to explore what these books have to tell us about our own culture and time—and humanity itself. Speculative fiction, and dystopian literature in particular, is known for taking elements of “real” culture and behavior and pushing the boundaries to the extreme and absurd, offering something prescient, even comforting. Begin by examining dystopian literature’s history: What cultural events brought on its birth and golden age, and what does its recent resurgence tell us about the times we live in? Consider questions, such as: How and where do we draw the line between fiction and truth, representation and reality? How can we use dystopian fiction, and literature in general, to steel ourselves against negative forces? Can dystopian media be harmful or helpful to our cultural understanding? Whether you’ve read them before or not, come away with new thinking about these two novels. Are they merely fictional entertainment, or are they moral fables that reveal greater truths about our time and ourselves?

Four sessions
Thur., 6:30-8:30 pm, Oct. 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 2017
Location: Room 187, Sturm Hall, DU campus

Courtney E. Morgan, MFA, is the author of The Seven Autopsies of Nora Hanneman, a collection of linked stories that range from naturalistic to wildly speculative fiction. She is the managing editor of The Thought Erotic sexual culture journal and teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and The Gathering Place women’s shelter. She is currently working on a dystopian novel set in a near-future post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Course Details
Location: DU Main CampusMode of Study: In-personPlaces Left: 25Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $165


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Thursday12th October 20172nd November 201706:30PM - 08:30PMSturm HallCourtney Morgan