Reading Schedule

August 28th:



September 4th:

Thomas More, Utopia (1516) (read Wootton’s introduction and “The Sileni of Alcibiades” as well): On reserve; you need to read this edition specifically.

Phillip E. Wegner, “Utopia and the Birth of Nations.” In Utopia, The Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002: 27-61.

Peter Fitting, “A Short History of Utopian Studies.” Science Fiction Studies 36. 1 (2009): 121-131.


September 11th:

Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis (1627)

Excerpts from The New Organon (1620)

Sarah Hogan, “Of Islands and Bridges: Figures of Uneven Development in Bacon’s New Atlantis.Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 12.3 (Summer 2012): 28-59.

If you have not already read it, please take a look at Gregory Colón Semenza’s “Chapter 5: The Seminar Paper” in Graduate Study for the 21st Century (available as an e-book through the Mina Rees Library).

September 18th:

Margaret Cavendish, New Blazing World (1666)

Sujata Iyengar, “Royalist, Romancist, Racialist: Rank, Gender, and Race in the Science and Fiction of Margaret Cavendish.” ELH 69. 3 (2002): 649-672.


September 25th: class cancelled as per GC academic calendar


October 2nd:

Henry Neville, The Isle of Pines (1668); read the entire special Utopian Studies issue devoted to Isle of Pines, which is available as an e-journal: Utopian Studies 17. 1 (2006).


October 9th:

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726)

Chlöe Houston, “Utopia, Dystopia, Anti-utopia? Gulliver’s Travels and the Utopian Mode of Discourse.” Utopian Studies 18. 2 (2007): 425-442.

Claude Rawson, “God, Gulliver, and Genocide,” In God, Gulliver, and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination, 1492-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001): 256-298.


October 16th:

Johnson, Rasselas (1759)


October 23rd: Class Cancelled (I will be away at a conference). Class will be made up at the end of the term (with an additional class or by several hours of individual workshops).

Paper proposal due


October 30th:

Workshop on Paper Proposals

November 6th:

Voltaire, Candide (1759)

Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, “The Concept of Enlightenment” (1944). From Dialectic of Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2003): 1-34.


November 13th:

Forum on research resources in utopian/ early modern/ 18th century studies/ publication venues

(Calls for papers for conferences, symposia, special issues of journals)


November 20th:

Sarah Scott, A Description of Millenium Hall (1762)

Alessa Johns, “Introduction” and “Reconceiving the Contract: Sarah Scott’s Self-Replicating Utopias.” Women’s Utopias of the Eighteenth Century (University of Illinois Press, 2003): 1-25; 91-11.


November 27th: Thanksgiving


December 4th: Workshop on paper drafts


December 11th: Workshop on paper drafts


December 18th: Paper Wrap-up/ Class celebration