A utopian society is one possessing ideal or highly desirable qualities. Utopia might be understood as an intentional effort by a group to create such a society or as a fictional ideal, such as in literature, art, or fantasy. The concept of utopia might also be explored by its converse: dystopia. A dystopian society, usually fictional and often set in the speculative future, is one of fright, uncertainty, catastrophe, and the decline of civilization
Rationale for Teaching
Investigating utopia as an enduring idea encourages learners to explore and question notions of idealism and community. Visual artists, economists, political leaders, philosophers, and writers have all envisioned different utopian societies, which create a language and a map for what might be considered “ideal.” By asking learners to compare and (re)negotiate their own idealism and think critically about and respond to the visual culture of the “ideal,” we hope to foster expanding visions of local, national, and global communities and our responsibilities within those communities.
- Utopian and dystopian societies
- Making havens
- Visual spaces and avatars
- What is the visual culture of utopian and dystopian societies and how might it affect social change?
- What is a haven and (why) is haven-making a significant personal or community practice?
- What is the relationship between a desire to inhabit virtual spaces and/or avatars and the creation of utopian societies?