Module Details for the Academic Year 2018/2019

ENG10170 Contemporary Dystopian Fiction

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 may include:
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale,
Haruki Murakami Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Octavia E Butler Parable of the Sower
Sarah Hall The Carhullan Army
Kevin Barry City of Bohane
Emily St John Mandel Station Eleven

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 semester.

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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.
Item Workload


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Description % of Final Grade Timing
Continuous Assessment: < Description >


Varies over the Trimester
Essay: 2000


Coursework (End of Trimester)


This module is not passable by compensation

Resit Opportunities

End of Semester Exam


If you fail this module you may repeat, resit or substitute where permissible

Module Requisites and Incompatibles

Equivalent Modules

Prior Learning

Curricular information is subject to change