Connor Watts

Research Details


SUPERVISOR(S) - Professor Daniel Williams and Dr Steve Vine


THESIS TITLE - The philosophy of totalitarianism in twentieth-century dystopian fiction.

Research Synopsis

My current project explores the idea of totalitarianism as it has been conceptualised and critiqued by key philosophers throughout history. The project also analyses the ways in which totalitarianism is challenged, embodied and mediated in twentieth-century literature.

Attending to the works of eminent thinkers and authors concerned with the totalitarian phenomenon—such as Plato, Thomas Hobbes, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Hannah Arendt and Ayn Rand—my thesis looks at the literary representations of totalitarian societies, analysing the philosophical grounds of the authors’ visions, and identifying thematic and formal similarities and differences between them.

‘Totalitarianism’ is a pertinent topic in contemporary political and cultural discourse. My hope is that my thesis will assist in demonstrating the usefulness of humanistic (particularly literary and philosophical) scholarship to analyses of current political and cultural events.

An image of books on a shelf