What is human nature? Is it malleable or fixed? What is human happiness? Can human beings live together in harmony? What is the perfect society? Is it possible to achieve such a society? What is the proper role of government in it? How much individual freedom or dissent can be tolerated in it? In a historical survey of utopianism and anti-utopianism, students discover how selected writers and communitarians have answered these questions in theory, fiction, and practice. This class considers the evolution of utopianism (the concept of an ideal society) and its criticism (anti-utopianism) in western thought from ancient times to the twenty-first century. Readings vary from year to year, but may include Plato's <em>Republic</em>, More's <em>Utopia</em>, Voltaire's <em>Candide</em>, Hawthorne's <em>Blithedale Romance</em>, Gilman's <em>Herland</em>, Bellamy's <em>Looking Backward</em>, Zamyatin's <em>We</em>, Skinner's <em>Walden Two</em>, and documents from actual utopian communities.