Creativity and Utopia (894Q3A)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module explores the intimate relationship between creativity and utopia, as it is played out in literary and theoretical texts from More to the present day. It examines the extent to which the art work can create new worlds (brave or otherwise), and traces the historical changes in the utopian function of literature, in its various philosophical, literary and theoretical manifestations. After an initial grounding in More's "Utopia", the module moves through some key eighteenth and nineteenth century utopias, before focusing on the ways in which utopian thought is refashioned in modernist and contemporary writing. In paying attention to the changing function of utopian thinking in twentieth century literature, the module also explores how the theoretical developments of the modern and contemporary period have inherited a utopian legacy. How has Marxist utopian thinking informed modern and contemporary utopianism? How does the Frankfurt School investment in utopian thought relate to Derridean and Deleuzian conceptions of utopian possibility? The relationship between creativity and utopia will be explored both through the reading of several key utopian texts, and through reflections on the practice of creative writing.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: