HUM 201AF Political Basis of Society

Politics can be judged by its assumptions and consequences. Thomas Hobbes (AD 1588 – 1679) was an English political thinker who lived in the turbulent times of the English Civil War and the Wars of Religion. Undoubtedly, his historical situation influenced his political imagination greatly, an imagination captured in his words, “nature is red in tooth and claw.” The thought and project of Hobbes has been very much present in the shadows of power, and has been the operative assumption in international relations and political enterprise concerned chiefly with power. This course endeavours to read the text of the Leviathan critically, to understand the thought of Hobbes consequentially. Does Hobbes’s political imagination reflect a limited horizon, and, if so, what are the consequences for the subsequent history of political thought? Are there any viable alternatives to the great leviathan of Hobbes?


HUM 260 Utopian Literature, Thought and Experiment

Humanities 260 offers an introduction to the history of utopian literature, from ancient myths about golden ages to the latest dystopian novels and films. English majors who take the course may count it as an English elective. Textbooks for Fall 2017 will be Thomas More's Utopia, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and a third work to be chosen by each student from an extensive list of utopian novels and film adaptations. The course will consider some examples of utopian thought in constitutional documents and advertising. We'll also consider some examples of utopian experiments in the form of intentional communities and city planning, in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.