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American Utopia at the Turn of the 20th Century

Class at Faculty of Arts |



To explore the most productive era of utopian literature in American history by studying three major works: Edward Bellamy?s Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888), Jack London?s Iron Heel (1908), and Charlotte Perkins Gilman?s Herland (1915).


Bellamy, Edward. ?How and Why I Wrote Looking Backward.? America as Utopia. Ed. Kenneth Roemer. New York: Burt Franklin, 1981.

-----. Looking Backward 2000-1887. 1888. New York: Signet, 2000.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. 1915. New York: Penguin, 1999.

Hausman, Bernice L. ?Sex before Gender: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Evolutionary Paradigm of Utopia.? Feminist Studies 24.3 (Fall 1998).

Khouri, Nadia. ?Utopia and Epic: Ideological Confrontation in Jack London?s The Iron Heel.? Science Fiction Studies 9.3 (July 1976).

Kumar, Krishan. ?Utopianism Ancient and Modern? and ?Utopia in Nineteenth-Century America.? Utopia and Anti-utopia in Modern Times. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987.

London, Jack. The Iron Heel. New York: Macmillan, 1908.

Pfaelzer, Jean. ?Edward Bellamy and the Progressive Utopia.? The Utopian Novel in America 1886-1896: The Politics of Form. Pittsburg: Pittsburg UP, 1984.


Active class participation, one oral presentation, one final paper (3000-4000 words)