Brazosport College to introduce class on dystopian literature

Brazosport College to introduce class on dystopian literature

Wed Oct 29, 2014

Since Suzanne Collins’ immensely popular book, “The Hunger Games,” we’ve seen a rise in popularity in the genre of dystopian fiction. In fact, there are now so many young adult novels with dystopian themes that it’s hard to keep up with them all.

Be it “Divergent,” The Giver,” or “The Maze Runner,” just to name a few, these books are regularly seen on bestseller lists everywhere. Why have these dark, speculative stories about nightmarish worlds hooked such a massive audience? And what does this say about society?

Brazosport College is introducing a new literature class this spring that will focus on these and other questions.

The course, Dystopian Literature (Forms of Literature II), fulfills the core requirement for language, philosophy and culture and will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday nights. Priority registration for the spring semester begins Nov. 3, with open registration starting on November 7. Spring classes start January 5.

“We will be exploring this dystopian trend and really trying to understand why these books have been so successful,” said BC Assistant Professor of English and class instructor Emily Masterson. “Why do people want to see a young girl fighting other teenagers to the death? This is dark stuff, so why are we obsessed with fear, loss and surviving against tremendous odds?

“I don’t know if we can fully answer these questions, but we’ll certainly try,” Masterson added.

The course will start with the reading of the genre’s early frontrunners, such as George Orwell’s classic, “1984,” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” and then track dystopian novels decade by decade with favorites such as Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Dr. Seuss will even be thrown into the mix before the class ends.

“This class will be structured like a book club, so I think students who enroll should really enjoy reading and should like thinking about the state of modern society,” Masterson said.

To learn more about Brazosport College’s new Dystopian Literature class, contact Masterson at 979.230.3614 or at