Russian Science Fiction Paper

Red Star Trek: Russian Science Fiction Between Utopia and Dystopia

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Format: 5-6 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, 1-inch margins.


Choose one from the following prompts:

Utopian Agents. We have encountered several different types of agents of utopias in our readings: philosopher-kings, humanists, engineers, mathematicians, worker. Please choose two works read in class and discuss their respective representations of utopian agents. What makes one susceptible to utopian aspirations and the new? What kind of character traits and desires might stand in their way?
Static and Dynamic Utopias. We’ve encountered some utopian models that were static (advocating for attainable perfection through rational design and organization) and some that were dynamic (holding movement, struggle, or unpredictable change as the main vehicles of utopia). Please choose two texts–– one classical and one modern utopia––for your discussion. Point out their respective views on progress, history, human nature, etc.
Lonely or communal cosmos: Please choose two works by Russian Cosmists and/or by Russian writers responding to Russian Cosmists and discuss their respective views on space.

Pick from the following works:

Read: Suvin, “Science Fiction and Utopian Fiction” (Canvas)

Classical Utopias. Read: Plato, Republic (excerpts); More, Utopia (excerpts); Campanella, The City of the Sun (excerpts), Fourier (excerpts) (a single file labelled “Classical Utopias on Canvas)

Odoevsky, “The Year 4338” (excerpt); Chernyshevsky, “Vera Pavlovna’s 4th Dream” (an excerpt from What Is to Be Done?); Dostoyevsky “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” (Canvas)

Groys “Russian Cosmism and the Technology of Immortality.” Tsiolkovsky “The Future of Earth and Mankind” (an excerpt), “Panpsychism, or Everything Feels” (an excerpt) Read: Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (pp.61-74) (Canvas)

Read: Bogdanov The Red Star

Platonov, “The Lunar Bomb” (Canvas)

Aelita: Queen of Mars (dir. Iakov Protazanov, 1924, 113 min.) (Canvas)

Briusov “The Republic of the Southern Cross”; Fedorov, “One Evening in 2217” (Canvas)

Capek, R.U.R

Zamyatin, We

Bulgakov, The Hart of a Dog

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