Since Thomas More first coined the phrase “utopia” in his eponymous book, idealists, realists, and cynics alike have been fascinated with the possibility creating an ideal society. We have exhaustively explored the concept in fictional and critical contexts, with utopias at the focus of numerous works of literature, film, and scholarship. Various subcultural groups, such as the shakers and transcendentalists in the 19th century, attempted to create insular utopian communities. The evident human fascination with utopia raises numerous questions: can a utopian society be actualized?… Read the rest here
In my research paper, I plan on discussing the town of Celebration, Florida, which was an intentional community proposed by Walt Disney himself. Intentional communities have been attempted a variety of different times over the past hundred years, but despite the good intentions they are created with, failure has proven to be much more prominent than success. Celebration was founded less than fifteen years ago, so unlike other communities where one can blatantly identify achievement (or more often, lack of,) it is still developing and thus has much room for improvement.… Read the rest here
Where Technology meets Religion
While reading and analyzing Plato’s The Republic and More’s Utopia through class discussion, it has been made quite clear that human nature poses a major problem in shaping ideal societies. No “perfect” society can truly be formed. Even in films like “Metropolis” and “Gattaca” it was greed, lust, anger and pride that led to failures of their technological worlds and made it a dystopia. However, would those worlds have succeeded if there was a way to limit human desires?… Read the rest here
- I want to examine the effect that photography as propaganda can have on a society. Photographs are the ultimate tools of manipulation because they are seen as facts/reality/truth. In reality, photographs are easily manipulated and can cause people to believe whatever they see, without considering what “lies beyond the frame.” Because of peoples’ tendencies to believe whatever is in a photograph, photography is often used in propaganda by governments in an attempt to sway the people in a certain direction.
Professor Karl Qualls
I will be comparing many works for my project such as Mores Utopia and Platos republic; However, I will also be looking back in history and studying the Finland/Soviet winter war (1939-1940). Finland, a small socialist and neutral nation, was invaded and aggressed by a neighboring nation and was forced to fight for its freedom and survival, despite Finland being anti war. Looking at this historical event, I will draw a parallel to Thomas More’s theoretical Utopia.… Read the rest here
What are some characteristics of the manipulation of youth (base) for the good of society and how does conditioning affect family structure and values in a utopian or dystopian society?
The paper will generally focus on how the manipulation of children in a utopia or dystopia changes family structure and values. I will mainly write about this topic as seen in film and literature. The paper will be limited to perhaps a few references to historical texts and real world applications, and the focus will be mostly limited to fiction. … Read the rest here
My final paper will compare the idea of justice as defined in Republic, written by Classical Greek philosopher Plato, to the Hindu concept of dharma. Justice is defined in Republic as balance in society on both the individual and State level, where the desires, emotions, and reasoning of each individual’s mind are balanced and each individual uses his/her natural talents to play his/her role in bettering society. Dharma, a concept originating in Vedic India, can be defined as achieving harmony within the individual and society.… Read the rest here
Religion and Utopias
In their works on utopian societies, Plato and More believe that religion is key to the function of a society. They suggest that religious beliefs affect the morality of a society’s members and thus the preservation of the society itself. While Plato believes in “gods” and that society members should strive to attain the Form of the Good, a strict moral code, More believes that although many religious sects can exist in a society, society members should acknowledge one true deity.… Read the rest here
I would like to examine where culture comes from. Plato argues that they come from education and government-organized social conditioning, and More seems to say that they come from leadership; it was, after all, Utopus that set the tone for a culture of acceptance and tolerance of different beliefs in Utopia. Marx, by contrast, argues that the economy is the root of all culture; every element of our culture and society is really a tool for and product of bourgeois power.… Read the rest here
My paper will discuss the role of censorship in both literary and real-life societies in the maintenance of power. First, I will define “censorship”, and what can be censored. After analyzing censorship in fictional societies, using novels such as The Republic by Plato and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, I will explore internet censorship in the United States and China. By analyzing these societies and their social and political environment, I will address not only the how , but the why of censorship.… Read the rest here