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New Reading Group Explores Links Between Dystopian Fiction and Reality


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Prof. McCuskey with reading group

Students and faculty at Utah State University are meeting together in a new reading group to discuss dystopian novels and how they relate to today’s political climate.

The group is the brainchild of Dr. Brian McCuskey, an associate professor in the English department. Following President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, the novel “1984,” by George Orwell, rose to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. McCuskey said he thought it would be interesting to discuss this phenomenon with faculty and students and think about possible reasons for its sudden rise in popularity.

During the spring 2017 semester, the Student-Faculty Reading Group met in the Ray B. West building every other Friday from 3:30 to 4:30 to discuss “1984.” McCuskey wanted to avoid using the term “club,” as both faculty and students were invited and he wanted participants to feel they were all on equal ground. 

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