After Kellyanne Conway coined the phrase “alternative facts” in January, Orwell’s novel shot to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, and has remained in the top five bestsellers ever since. While generations of Americans read the novel (usually in high school) as a cold war vision of a totalitarian dystopia, readers are now noting prescient correlations to current events. What does it mean to live in a world where dystopian fiction resembles reality? Are there lessons to be learned? Can the tide be turned? Are contemporary authors exploring a dystopian future that is similarly harrowing? What role does literature play in our current political moment?
The UI English Department and the UI Center for Human Rights are co-sponsors of this event.