One day course for teachers of English. Formation continue UNIL-EPFL.
What would the world be without books? How would that change our apprehension of the world? Fahrenheit 451 and other texts pose that question at a time when we seem to be moving to radically new information technologies and cultural practices. This 1-day course proposes to examine the role of dystopian fiction in addressing contemporary threats and issues. While writers have used fiction to explore imaginative possibilities or to express concerns about real enough forms of social conflict, religious violence, political oppression and ideological manipulation, fiction tends to escape from the safe confines of the book into the world and shape it as a place. It also provides a space in which the reader can reflect on reality, develop critical thinking and forms of resistance. Whether that place is utopia or dystopia, fiction constantly interrogates its blissful and damning force, and its capacity to ask uncomfortable questions, quarrel with the world, and imagine it anew.