The Great Courses: Genre Fiction

4 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 2,583 ratings

Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature Publisher's Summary

Can literature change our real world society? At its foundation, utopian and dystopian fiction asks a few seemingly simple questions aimed at doing just that. Who are we as a society? Who do we want to be? Who are we afraid we might become? When these questions are framed in the speculative versions of Heaven and Hell on earth, you won't find easy answers, but you will find tremendously insightful and often entertaining perspectives.

Utopian and dystopian writing sits at the crossroads of literature and other important academic disciplines such as philosophy, history, psychology, politics, and sociology. It serves as a useful tool to discuss our present condition and future prospects - to imagine a better tomorrow and warn of dangerous possibilities. To examine the future of mankind through detailed and fascinating stories that highlight and exploit our anxieties in adventurous, thought-provoking, and engaging ways. From Thomas More's foundational text Utopia published in 1516 to the 21st-century phenomenon of The Hunger Games, dive into stories that seek to find the best - and the worst - in humanity, with the hope of better understanding ourselves and the world. Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature delivers 24 illuminating lectures, led by Pamela Bedore, Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, which plunge you into the history and development of utopian ideas and their dystopian counterparts. You'll encounter some of the most powerful and influential texts in this genre as you travel centuries into the past and thousands of years into the future, through worlds that are beautiful, laughable, terrifying, and always thought-provoking.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses
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    • Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature

    • By: Pamela Bedore, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Pamela Bedore
    • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 677
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 610
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 603

    Can literature change our real world society? At its foundation, utopian and dystopian fiction asks a few seemingly simple questions aimed at doing just that. Who are we as a society? Who do we want to be? Who are we afraid we might become? When these questions are framed in the speculative versions of Heaven and Hell on earth, you won't find easy answers, but you will find tremendously insightful and often entertaining perspectives.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A very enjoyable and educational audiobook

    • By N. H. on 04-06-17

    Regular price: $34.95

    • The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction

    • By: David Schmid, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: David Schmid
    • Length: 18 hrs and 56 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 188
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 160
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 156

    Great mystery and suspense writers have created some of the most unforgettable stories in all of literature. Even those who don't consider themselves fans of this intriguing genre are familiar with names such as Hercule Poirot, Sam Spade, Hannibal Lecter, and Robert Langdon, and understand the deep and lasting impact this writing has had on literature as a whole.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Eye Opening and Enjoyable

    • By Amazon Customer on 03-21-17

    Regular price: $41.95

    • How Great Science Fiction Works

    • By: Gary K. Wolfe, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Gary K. Wolfe
    • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,633
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,465
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,433

    Robots, spaceships, futuristic megacities, planets orbiting distant stars. These icons of science fiction are now in our daily news. Science fiction, once maligned as mere pulp, has motivated cutting-edge scientific research, inspired new technologies, and changed how we view everyday life - and its themes and questions permeate popular culture. Take an unparalleled look at the influence, history, and greatest works of science fiction with illuminating insights and fascinating facts about this wide-ranging genre.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Deserves a Hugo of Its Own

    • By Carol on 02-01-16

    Regular price: $34.95

    • A Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales

    • By: The Great Courses, Hannah B. Harvey
    • Narrated by: Hannah B. Harvey
    • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 85
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 77
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75

    In The Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales, Dr. Hannah Blevins Harvey unpacks more than 60 of our most beloved stories, fables, fairy tales, and songs from around the world - providing you with a fascinating, in-depth view into the history, context, and deeper meaning of the tales we know and love. As you travel through the catalogs of Grimm, Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Oscar Wilde, and so many more, you'll gain profound insights into how and why these stories came to be.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Interesting material

    • By Amazon Customer on 08-13-17

    Regular price: $34.95