The authors of this blog are UConn students taking HIST 3101W History Through Fiction, focusing on utopian and dystopian novels from the late 19th century through the present.


History Through Fiction: Science, Technology & Utopia/Dystopia

In addition to appreciating fiction for its literary merit, scholars can also use fiction to gain insight into historic times, places and people.  This course engages students in the study of utopian and dystopian literature of the late 19th through the 20th century to analyze society in the past, paying special attention to the roles and influence of science and technology.

This course also involves students in learning about writing in the discipline of history.  The art and practice of writing, and the revision process, form part of the content of the course.  Publication of student writing through this blog sets a high standard for student work and provides a venue for public discussion of a literary genre that is very resonant today.


Objectives of this blog

  • To engage with utopian and dystopian novels as both literature and also as historical sources.
  • To relate the stories to the time and place they were written and to link events, decisions, actions and other elements of the novels to relevant contemporary political, economic, social and cultural factors.
  • To communicate observations and arguments about these novels as historical sources effectively in writing.
  • To investigate, and ultimately better understand, the relationship between technology and society.
  • To explore, and ultimately better understand, the purposes and power of the genre of dystopia/utopia.


Blog Editor/Course Instructor

Helen M. Rozwadowski holds a Ph.D. in the History of Science and teaches UConn courses in environmental history, maritime studies, and the history of science and technology.  As an undergraduate double major in English and biology, her interest in using fiction to study history has spanned her career.  For more information about Prof. Roz, see: