u·to·pi·a: an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect
dys·to·pi·a: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one
In this English literature class we'll read fiction that imagines worst case scenarios: environmental collapse, authoritarian governments, the total breakdown of society. In addition to imagining these fictional worlds, we'll also look at the real historical and political circumstances that authors were confronting when they wrote dystopian novels.
Suggested age range: 13+
We'll read Brave New World and 1984 as a class. In the second half of the semester students will choose their own reading from a suggested list that includes fiction, comics, and graphic novels. All Rise Out classes are homework-optional.
Fridays from 1:30 to 2:30.
September 15 to December 8. No class November 24.
Registration and Fees
Registration and payment collection for Rise Out programs is handled by Rise Out.
Fee: $225 for the semester + occasional media content. (Please read Rise Out's media policy.) Includes the cost of books.
$10 discount for Voyagers members.
Payment plans available. Fees waived for families with financial need. (Rise Out waivers and payment plan information.)
Most semesters, Rise Out classes at Voyagers are standalone classes. This semester, uniquely, all three classes complement each other (example: reading Orwell's 1984 in Dystopian Literature, Animal Farm in The Cold War, and Arthur Miller's The Crucible in Witch Hunts). While you can still enroll in each session separately, there is a $50 discount for students who enroll in all three.
About the Provider
The Rise Out programs at Voyagers are led by Rise Out founder, Laura Fokkena. Laura has over a decade of experience working as an education director and literacy consultant in K-12 out-of-school programs in the greater Boston area. She has a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is also an adjunct professor in Lesley's Global Studies department.
Rise Out is a 501(c)3 nonprofit offering classes for homeschooling teens at Voyagers, as well as in Cambridge and online. Rise Out also consults with teens exploring and pursuing alternatives to traditional high school.