CIVICS: Professional development conference on 20th Century dystopian literature

(June 26, 2015) LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky social studies teachers are invited to apply for a three-day conference on '20th Century Dystopian Literature.' Applications are due Aug. 3.
CIVICS: Professional development conference on 20th Century dystopian literature

The McConnell Center's Civic Education Program will host a three-day professional development conference Nov. 13-15 in Louisville, Ky. The conference is open to Kentucky social studies teachers and will be led by Dr. Gary Gregg, McConnell Center director.

The conference is limited to 15 Kentucky social studies teachers and administrators, grades K-12. Extensive pre-reading is required.

Applications are due Monday, August 3 (download as .doc)

About the Conference

This conference will revisit the utopian aspirations that once inspired these now fallen regimes by examining the critique of such longings in dystopian literature. Whereas utopias are premised on a confident faith in human perfectibility, dystopias dramatize the limitations of human beings and the limits on human perfectibility. Dystopian literature serves a particularly useful role in promoting such self-knowledge with its unique ability to engage the imagination of the reader and force us to grapple with the unintended consequences of our own political ambition. Only if we take seriously the seemingly decent goals of utopianism and the manner in which its ambitions are similar to many of our own today, can we understand ourselves and the potential dangers within our own inner longings.

Conference Participation Includes:

  • Double-room accommodations at a hotel in Louisville, Ky.
  • Mileage reimbursement to conference
  • All meals during the conference
  • Conference readings & other educational resources
  • Opportunity for substitute teacher reimbursement

Conference Topics:

  • 'We' by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  • 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley
  • 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury
  • '1984' by George Orwell


Please direct all inquires to Benjamin Gies, graduate assistant for the McConnell Center’s Civic Education Program (phone: 502-852-3947).