Browning, Gary K. Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present. Ed. Abigail Halcli and Frank Webster. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.
“Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.’, something that I found to be very useful in proving a point I was trying to make but could not really put to words in a way that sounded good. The very first thing that I was able to find that as useful even if a bit limited from what I was able to read, still looking into to see If anything else could be added from this that other sources do not show as well.
Millwee., Kyle. Kylemillwee. N.p.: n.p., Sept.-Oct. 2014. PDF.
Seems to be a short essay by student from which I took a few quotes as it shared simuler ideas to my own on the subject at hand, not the best place to for information but it was helpful in getting another source of quotes from a writer named Ursula Le Guin about her book “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,”. This was used to help support my claims about people having their own views on what is a utopia and dystopia due to what they see as happiness.
SHELTON, ROBERT. Utopia-and-dystopia. N.p.: Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 2013. PDF.
This was one of my starting sources that I found early on and had information on many different utopian and dystopian works as well as what they showed based on their authors. It also had good examples that I used to back my claims and main objective in the paper. It had many good quotable parts such as “Some of humanity’s best thinkers and artists have, for 2,500 years, created moral compasses by distilling human wisdom (and folly) into imaginative works called utopias and dystopias” among others that helped to support the article and my own ideas. It also had a lot of the history of utopia starting from Thomas More and how his book lead onwards to others. Later sources built on this history.
Baccolini, Raffaella, and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Very modern look at utopia and dystopia in a as the author put it a “pessimistic” view. It offered a different view to what most other sources had shown in a more positive light and tone. This sorce was more personal and was a correspondents between the author and another person whom was interested in the subject. As most of the pages start with a “Dear, someone”. However this sorce was much harder to extract information from due to it not being aimed that way and was between people who understood each other better than I can understand them, still I am reading on to find more examples for counterarguments and a different view.
Grassmann, Hans, Ting Fa Margherita Chang, Mario Taverna, and Luca Iseppi. THE SOLAR AGE: UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA. HOW TO TRANSFORM GREEN WASTE EXTERNALITIES IN ENERGY AND BIOCHAR. University of Udine, Italy: Proceeding of the International Scientifical Conference. Volume III., 2014. PDF.
This was a really odd thing for me to find, here I am looking for information on utopia and dystopia in the format of book reviews, articles, books on the subject and other written works and then I find this. An argument that states the solar panels can lead to a utopia or a dystopia, this suiprised to the point that I keep reading, just to see if this was a way of hooking people into reading a long engineering paper on solar panels or a valid argument. I still do not know, I stopped after they stated to just talk about the science behind the new panels and how to use them to not lead to the downfall of humanity. This is some of their points “There would be no pollution anymore, no net production of C02, global warming would come to a hold, the energy would be de-central, for everybody, in a certain sense for free. What could be more of a utopia?
Nevertheless, Solar energy is dystopia since we have to switch to solar energy as much and as fast as possible, and this will cause us much pain and problems.
Huge industrial values will be annihilated, for instance our knowledge about internal combustion engines will lose its relevance and therefore its value – the engineers of the main car industries, who have for decades always improved the motors, will have to retire”. Like I said before this never came to my mind and it is very useful as a modern day example of technology that could lead to actual change for better or worse. This also is part of the main thing point that drives utopia and dystopia, technology and society. This can lead to a better system of energy vs what we have now that is killing our world and save it for the future however the current effect can be devastating on the world order and society.
Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
This was really useful source for background information on the concept of utopia and dystopia, their origin, analysis of the origin and how it then devolved into a word, genre and the meaning. Here I learned about the concept of neologism and how it led to the both words being made and how it also created others like anti-utopia and satirical utopia. It also talked about why they were made and what they wished to show. Overall it is a very good source that I have used to fill in missing information from shorter sources like the ones above.
My main research topic is how people define what is a utopia and a dystopia. As with all things people created the idea of utopia and dystopia, with one being the opposite of the other. However from all the sources I have looked at there is no one set definition that everyone is happy with. That is due to the fact that as some put it “A utopia is “as you like it” not necessarily a “perfect” world just a world that is perfect in an individual’s eyes.”, therefore each person has a different take on what it is. “ Utopias and dystopia are asymmetrical concepts, akin to health and disease, whereby one persons hopeful dream is anothers dyspeptic nightmare.”, So why do so many write about a world that one or a few would ever see as a good place to be? The answer as to why people write utopian and dystopian works also varies based on the person, however for the most part it is to critic and offer ideas. As seen in one of the sources found, “Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.”. People dream of better worlds, lives, times, and conditions all their lives, the pursuit of happiness. I had also found something that was unexpected, a link to mechanical technology though a paper based on the problems posed by solar technology and how it can be used to create both a utopia and a dystopia.
(This was the best written start I had so far and the following is still being worked on, will improve and change to meet what is needed)
Following the advice given, I have found several interesting secondary sources regarding utopias and dystopias. After reading them and pulling out some key ideas and quotes, I incorporated them into a new revision. This revision is more based on what was found and has a better argument in place with points to support it. The main idea is still how people define what is utopia and dystopia based on many factors such as when, where and why. The argument that I am countering is that utopia and dystopia have a single broad definition. Now, the idea of what utopia and dystopia are has not changed to the point where it is indistinguishable from their origin to today on a base level, however as seen with many different literary works the setting and main ideas are different based on the time they were written. As technology, society and world orders changed, so did the settings of utopian and dystopian literature. Due to the fact that people would no longer feel the same impact, in some cases with books written about a vision of the world that is no longer valid to them. This is where prospective comes into play as it also changes with time and the individual. Perspective is based on understanding. Someone who has never experienced or heard of an event cannot understand its importance both in the real worlds and the fictional one. This is why history is important because it teaches the significance of past events so that they are not repeated or at least can be recognized within current once. That is also the main point of utopian and dystopian points to show how something could be positive or negative based on evolving trends that the writer has seen or is worried about seeing.
I will continue to look at the old sources found as well as new once that I’m looking for, to use as additional background and supporting arguments which will add to the paper. This will also be included in some part of the upcoming presentation.
As said before all the new information gathered will be looked at to create a cohesive presentation that will follow a similar set up in the upcoming write up. The power pint I am making will have bullet points that will be used to aid at my discussion while not being word for word that I am saying as well as having quotes from the research that I’ve done.
Still need to find a good way of writing the paper with strong topic sentences that work of the main idea. I am aware I did not show of them above, due to them still being worked on, progress is slow and I do not like showing things that are not done yet. This a problem for me, basically I cannot decide on how to format it because most of it is still up in the air. Should have a better idea after presentation is done.
Other than that, wanted to know if the sources I have are good or if some of them are not within the realm of what is allowed.