The Modern Dystopia – a Response to Post-Factualism and other 21st Century Challenges?

21. May 2019 19:00

Carmen Heup

Karmen Heup is an English and Theory of Knowledge teacher at Goetheschule Essen. She is also head of the New English Club and teaches International Literature at the Essen Adult Education Centre. As an Erasmus Plus coordinator she has been responsible for the conceptualization, implementation and evaluation of EU funded secondary school projects since 2015. Currently, she is working on a project about post-factual trends together with students and teachers from six different European countries.

Dystopias are a popular sub-genre of science fiction. A look at the successful titles of recent years reveals that a remarkable number of novels deal with doom and gloom scenarios of the near and distant future. What may explain their success? Is it a reflex in times of growing uncertainty and volatility? What are common themes and concerns in 21st-century dystopian literature? What fascinates readers about modern adaptations of school classics such as Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and George Orwell’s “1984”? What inspiration can we draw from works by authors like Margaret Atwood, Cory Doctorow, Dave Eggers or Kazuo Ishiguro? These are some of the questions we are going to discuss. In addition, we will see (and hear) samples of creative work which have become part of a digital EU learning project about dystopias in the post-factual era.


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