Textbook: The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature.
Dystopian novels include: The Hunger Games, Little Brother, and Ship Breaker.
Films/Television Shows: The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Pt 1, The 100, 3%
Course: ENGL 1102
Course Title: Rhetoric, Propaganda and the High Stakes of YA Dystopian Fiction
Semesters Taught: Spring 2017
Section Size: 20
Sections Taught: 3
Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program’s Description of English Composition II:
ENGL1102 Syllabus: Rhetoric, Propaganda and the High Stakes of YA Dystopian Fiction
Students in this section will examine the rhetorical practices of fictional YA dystopias by considering the historical and theoretical origins of the genre and its overlaps with genres like science fiction, romance, post-apocalyptic fiction, and critical theory. Students will analyze dystopian novels, films, and television shows aimed at teen audiences while comparing the role of dystopian narratives in our contemporary political, social, and economic climates. Students will look closely at the role of propaganda within these fictional societies and practice identifying and interpreting the common rhetorical concepts at play before taking a turn at creating their own propaganda campaigns. Ultimately, students in this course will create well-researched arguments about the place of young people in both dystopian and real world narratives and the didactic messages the current crop of YA dystopian fiction tries to impart to younger generations.
Students respond to prompts and build on their Twitter responses to begin outlining research projects.
#1102 Dystopia Tweets
Course Twitter Hashtag. Students will live tweet readings and screenings, propose discussion questions for class, and brainstorm ideas for research projects.
Assignment Sheet: Propaganda Project (Group)
Students work in teams to create a multimodal propaganda project based on one team member’s independent reading book
Sample Student Work
Assignment Sheet: Infographic Assignment (Group)
Students work in pairs to create an infographic for a library or bookstore that defines YA Dystopia and its sub-genres
Sample Student Work
Assignment Sheet: Twitter
Over the course of the semester, each student will create and maintain a Twitter account to be used for livetweeting readings and screenings, brainstorming ideas, and interacting with classmates, as well as the larger online communities of YA and dystopian scholars.