Visions of Justice,

Justice in Visions

GOVT 2304: Introduction to Political Science (Honors)

Idealized, utopian or dystopian visions of political life provide us fertile ground in which to explore the fundamentals of political science.

Writings that hypothetically realize political principles form the basis of classical political science, and more recent works continue to productively enquire about the limits and possibilities of our lives together, while challenging us to question the desirability and justice of the received political orders in which we live. This Honors course places in conversation three core perspectives on human, political order: the theological, the rational and the imaginative. Our course will conclude with the study of two modern perspectives on the consequences of failed executions of political visions in the 20th century, and the forces that compelled the attempts to realize them and which perhaps still do.

The Reading List


Life of Lycurgus



Ibn Tufayl

Hayy Ibn Yaqzan

Thomas Moore


Francis Bacon

New Atlantis

Shulamith Firestone

The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution

W.E.B. DuBois

The Comet and Dark Princess

Octavia E. Butler

Parable of The Sower

Sun Ra

Space is The Place (film) and selected poems/compositions

Eric Voegelin

Science, Politics & Gnosticism

Hannah Arendt

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Expect engaging discussions, the opportunity to conduct original research and a final-project involving space aliens and performance.