Literary & Historical Utopias: syllabus details
for reading assignment
idea, theme, problem, or issue in the reading
assignment and relate to a
Direct seminar to to
1-2 brief passages
(page numbers) in day's texts. Read selections, briefly commenting on
application to opening theme or course objective.
(Order of first two steps may be reversed.)
question or questions to begin discussion. The question
should follow from your reading, but it may also appeal more broadly to the
challenges that the text may present to the class. You may also refer to other
Lead discussion. Ask follow-up questions, or restate
original question. Sometimes it's good to start with several questions
At some point, presenter must pose at least one
of the instructor's Discussion Questions on homepage.
Alternative approach: if you're
struggling with the day's reading assignment or connecting it to the seminar's
themes or objectives. consider . . .
1. Review your difficulties with the reading
(often shared by class)—what interest does the author assume, and what
are your interests instead?
2. Locate some parts you liked or nearly
liked--what are they offering that you want more of?
3. What ideas or conclusions about utopian texts
may be ventured? How does a Literature of Ideas differ from or meet a Literature
Or some combination of these approaches—your
purpose is to connect what you and fellow students want to discuss with the
larger purposes of the seminar, so find a way to start.