Wednesday, 16 January 2013

2013 New Year, New Utopias

Utopias is back, but it is different. It is two years since I last taught this course and my department now does things differently. The course is a module in comparative history and these now carry less weight than they did: only 20 credits (instead of 40), only one class per week (instead of two), only one procedural essay and one exam essay (instead of two). So half the time and half the content. As this is one of the modules I most enjoy this is a big shame and of course I haven't halved the content but I have compressed it - and I am still fretting over some of the things I have left out (such as digital utopias, non-anglophone utopias and science fiction). And the field trip to Utopia!  Shame, I hear you cry. I agree.

Still it is good to be back - and the students are brilliant.

The other change is that my University now requires that we use a Virtual Learning Environment for all our teaching. So everything is online - but within a closed environment that it is accessible just to those registered on the module.  I fear that this means that this blog won't get the use that it did before. There is probably a natural limit to how many social media sites we can keep up to date. And that is another shame, because one of the best thing about this blog was the way it allowed us to engage with utopianistas who were outside our class and our University.

So I will enrol the new group of students as bloggers, and sit back and wait and see what happens.

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