Back to the Future

Summer 2019
McKenna Rose
ENGL 1101
Sustainability initiatives, from green development to alternative energy projects, aim to fulfill the needs of the present without sacrificing the well-being of the future. In collaboration with Serve-Learn-Sustain, this class investigates the history and meaning of the of the future through popular media, early modern literature, and sustainable development inititives in Atlanta in order to better understand what lies ahead. To uncover ways in which our present is partially determined by the future imagined hundreds of years ago, this course first invites students to investigate the history of the future as an idea popularized in Thomas Moore’s Utopia, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World. Since contemporary science fiction authors and modern urban designers both draw resources from their inherited pasts to predict novel futures, students will also analyze text such as Black Mirror, Blade Runner, and Fallout 4, along with contemporary development projects such as the Atlanta Beltine and the Bellwood Quarry. Using a WOVEN approach to communication, which considers the interrelationship between Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal modes, this course invites students to articulate their own ideas about the future through a video essay, a creative world building project, a collaborative podcast, and a final, showcase portfolio. Over the course of the summer session, we will visit sites such as Procter Creek and the Atlanta Beltline, welcome lectures and workshops from community partners, and exhibit our work in student gallery space and at a closing showcase.
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