26 Feb. Tempest Final & Best Possible Futures


  • 1. You all did such an awesome job on the remote worksheet that I feel like we should have remote classes more often! Bravo! 
  • 2. If there’s ever a discrepancy between the course site prompts and the Canvas prompt, follow the course cite.

Class Leads

  • Give us a quick overview of the main highlights from the Google Doc discussion and then write your discussion questions on the board

Class Section Students
ENGL 1102.F3 Omar, Catherine, & Darren
ENGL 1102.HP3 Craig & Danielle
ENGL 112.D3 Michael

Problems in Shakespeare’s Tempest

Let’s chat about the following:
  • 1. What are some examples in The Tempest of the ways in which spaces or geographical regions or nature is/are never really empty of life or even civilization? What are the implications of Shakespeare’s critique of the castaway’s or settler’s expectations of empty landscapes?
  • 2. What are some examples in The Tempest of way in which it is difficult or impossible for the characters to start over or erase their pasts? What are the implications of Shakespeares critique of the ways that attempts to erase history effect the present?
  • 3. What are some examples of “soft power” and its applications in The Tempest? How well does “soft power” influence characters’ behavior and/or enact or even undermine state power?
  • 4. What are some examples of objects used on stage or in the characters’ imaginations that can represent the world of The Tempest as a whole?

New World Curiosities

Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato’s Dell’Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet


Problems in Our Futures

Get into small groups, read over each others’ Blog Post 4: Advertise Your Future, respond to the following in conversation, and then be prepared to share your answers:
  • 1. Whose future world would you most like to visit & why? I whose future world would you most like to live & why?
  • 2. Given some of the critiques of rational society building that Shakespeare raises in his play, discuss how the futures you have invented are vulnerable in the same ways as Prospero’s or Caliban’s worlds are.

19 Feb. World Building


  • Posts 4 & 5 have been pushed forward one class period
  • Please welcome LMC Subject Librarian, Karen Viars

World Building Exercise, Part I

What would the following look like in a world where the threat you diagnosed did not exist or had been eliminated? Take 10-12 minutes, choose 2-3 items from the list below, and respond to the prompt. Be prepared to share your answer with the class.
  • 1. Nations, government, laws 
  • 2. Geography, cities, infrastructure?
  • 3. Interpersonal relationships
  • 4. Religion, education, moral philosophy
  • 5. Technology
  • 6. Economic, labor

World Building Exercise, Part II

  • Draw a map of your world on the board

RQ: Utopia, Book II


Keep the following questions in mind as you read Thomas More’s Utopia, Book II. Please note that the page numbers below correspond to the Norton print edition of Utopia. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

What does Utopia look like? (31)

Where did Utopia get its name? What does this story of origin tell us about Utopia? How is the settling of the once uncouth Utopians a mythological story of origin? What does it say about how the Utopians think about liberty or race?

How does the balance between the central government and the rural areas and cities work?

Are there really very few laws?

What occupation does everyone have to learn?

What are the clothes like?

Why aren’t commodities scarce due to the short workday?

What do the Utopians do to devalue gold, silver and precious metals?

Describe the way population is shifted through households…

What rules govern traveling? Why do you think the utopians have such high anxiety over travel inside the boundaries of the nation?

How does education impact/influence behavior in Utopia? What do the Utopians study and in what language?

Who can become a slave in Utopia? What jobs to slaves do? (59)

How are the sick cared for? How are dying people cared for? Do any details in the care of the sick and dying surprise you? (60)

How does the following fit into the debate about the duty of serving the state: “Since the welfare or ruin of a commonwealth depends wholly on the character of the official, where could thy make a more prudent choice than among Utopians, who cannot be tempted by money?” (64).

Is it a paradox that a society which professes to disdain glory in war “…carries on vigorous military training, so they will be fit to fight should the need arise”? (66).

What do some of the people in Utopia worship? 

What do the wisest people worship? What are some characteristics of this entity? (73) 

Even though the sects differ, in what do they all believe?


What is the only religious position Utopians do not allow or respect? What is the danger of such beliefs? How are atheists treated?

What do people who “…err in the opposite direction…” believe and how are they treated? (75)

What are some Utopian burial practices? (75-6)

What are some of their religious practices or rights?

According to Utopians, what happens to people after they die? “…and thus they believe the dead come frequently among the living, to observe their words and actions” (76).

How does More respond to Raphael’s dialogue? Is he convinced that Utopia is the greatest country in the world? Doe he think Utopian practices could be applied in England?