Creativity and Utopia (894Q3B)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring 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. You will examine the extent to which the art work can create new worlds, brave or otherwise, and trace 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 course moves through some key 18th- and 19th-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 20th-century literature, you will also explore how the theoretical developments of the modern and contemporary period have inherited a utopian legacy.

Key questions include: 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? You will explore the relationship between creativity and utopia both through the reading of several key utopian texts, and through reflections on the practice of creative writing.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 24 hours of contact time and about 276 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.