It’s one thing to imagine (or promise) utopia, but it’s a whole other kettle of fish to put it into practice. In fact, the fundamental aspect of utopia, its “nowhere”-ness, seems to point to the futility of attempting to actually create one. And yet, somehow, people still try, and, even more strangely, sometimes succeed (not to mention frequently failing). Your task for this first paper is to find some real experiment in utopian living/practices/philosophy, and to try to understand better how the experiment works. First, find a utopian experiment that you want to explore further. Remember to think outside the box: consider philosophies, movements, countries, and communities that have been created as alternatives to the current way of life. Next, delve into the background and purpose of the utopia by considering the following research elements: government and legal system, education system, religion or moral code, economic system, and philosophy. Reflect on the overall goal(s) of the utopian experiment and the mission statement of its citizens or followers. Your essential line of inquiry will be, “How does this work”? That is, think about the types of practices, habits, rules, norms, structures, times, places, peoples, hobbies, codes, gestures, knowledges, etc. that go into the functioning of this place/society/community/philosophy/movement. You will evaluate a range of sources for this paper, depending on the utopian experiment you select and its historical timeframe. After thoroughly researching your utopian experiment, you want to ask, “Does this work?” That is, how well does the reality live up to the promises and goals of the place/movement/philosophy? Your ultimate goal is to argue whether or not the project is a success or a failure as a utopian society or movement. You will back up your argument (i.e. your claim) with the research that you’ve done on the utopia’s background and mission. Requirements: • 4-5 pages (not including the Works Cited page), typed and double-spaced in MLA format • MLA Works Cited page • At least 5 credible and reliable sources, such as books, eBooks, academic encyclopedia articles, scholarly journal articles, US government publications, government agency websites, or United Nations publications, an article from a reputable journalistic source (print or online, like a major newspaper, magazine, or trade journal), documentary films, etc. • 1 source MUST be from the SCC Library databases • All sources must be evaluated carefully, and any material that may be questionable, untrustworthy, or unsuitable for an academic audience should be omitted from the essay • Essay should be written in a sophisticated and professional style with an academic audience in mind
It’s one thing to imagine (or promise) utopia, but it’s a whole other kettle of fish to put it into practice.
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