u·to·pi·a: an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect
dys·to·pi·a: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one
In this English literature class we'll read fiction that imagines worst case scenarios: environmental collapse, authoritarian governments, the total breakdown of society. In addition to imagining these fictional worlds, we'll also look at the real historical and political circumstances that authors were confronting when they wrote dystopian novels.
Suggested age range: 13+
Outside work: We'll read 1984 as a class. In the second half of the semester students will choose their own reading from a suggested list that includes fiction, comics, and graphic novels. All Rise Out classes are homework-optional.
When & where: Fridays at Voyagers in Chelmsford (directions) from 1:30-2:30, Sept. 15-Dec. 8, 2017. No class Nov. 23.
Fee: $225 for the semester, plus occasional media content. (Please read our media policy.) Includes the cost of books. $10 discount for Voyagers members. Payment plans available. Fees waived for families with financial need. (Waivers and payment plan information.)
Note: Most semesters, Rise Out classes at Voyagers are standalone classes. This semester, uniquely, all three classes complement each other (example: reading Orwell's 1984 in Dystopian Literature, Animal Farm in The Cold War, and Arthur Miller's The Crucible in Witch Hunts). While you can still enroll in each session separately, there is a $50 discount for students who enroll in all three.
Photo credit: Rakaya El-Kasaby