Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in English, emphasis in Applied English Studies

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Renée Byrd

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Andrea Delgado

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Utopia, Critical utopia, Samuel Delany, Ursula Le Guin, Dystopia, Anarres, Urras, Triton, Utopian theory

Subject Categories



The purpose of this project is to analyze the critical utopias of two sci-fi novels: The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974) by Ursula K. Le Guin and Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia (1976) by Samuel R. Delany. Both novels were published within two years of each other, with Delany rewriting his novel to intentionally put it into direct dialogue with Le Guin’s. This project will attempt to establish the landscape of utopian fiction, draw out this dialogue between these two grandmasters of the science fiction genre, and answer this question: “As a result of Delany positioning his novel in this way, what contrasts and overlaps occur between these two authors’ view of an improved society?” This will be accomplished by examining the concepts of utopia, dystopia, and critical utopia; the backgrounds of the authors themselves; the utopian worlds they constructed; and, finally, showing where Le Guin and Delany’s worlds were in agreement and where they were in conflict.

Citation Style




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