ENG10170 Contemporary Dystopian Fiction

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will explore how the contemporary is represented through speculative, dystopian fiction and imagined futures. We will analyse key texts from the past 35 years in terms of their visions of the future, and the concerns they represent. This module will ask how dystopian fictions critique contemporary concerns and structures: politics, patriarchy, racism, climate change, poverty, technology? We will ask if dystopian fiction can produce utopias or offer solutions? Or warnings about the contemporary moment?

Texts include:
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
Iain M Banks, The State of the Art
Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
Louise Erdrich, Future Home of the Living God
Emily St John Mandel, Station Eleven
Naomi Alderman, The Power

PLEASE NOTE that the School of English, Drama and Film reserves the right to withdraw modules in the period up to and including the first week of the teaching trimester.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

Understand and identify contemporary dystopian fiction
Demonstrate a critical understanding dystopian fiction
Comprehend how dystopian themes speak to the contemporary moment
Critically analyse the contemporary dystopian novel
Submit a critical research-led essay on contemporary dystopian literature.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: < Description > Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 2000 Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

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