Utopia 2020: Plans for the New World Order
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future. Utopia today, flesh and blood tomorrow.” - Victor Hugo
A Graduate Conference at Florida State University, Saturday April 4th.
In 1516 Thomas Moore created and wrote about a fictional island he called “Utopia,” derived from the Greek word meaning no-place. As an island, Moore’s Utopia was a microcosm of potential new ideas and a special place separate from society. Since then, the idea of Utopia helped create and imagine new worlds simultaneously separate from and within our own. Utopia has supplied the imagination for fantasy, science-fiction, and dystopia. In the spirit of this radical dream and/or radical nightmare, we want to bring scholars together who have conceived of, challenged, and thought about Utopian possibilities and dreams.
Utopian thinking is the product of politics, aesthetics, ethics, and the arts. Monique Wittig’s Les guérillères envisioned a Utopia where women warriors had overthrown patriarchal systems and reformed society. Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World envisions the catastrophe of living inside a hierarchical genetic Utopia as represented by logic of the capitalist Henry Ford. This is a call for papers that consider Utopia (or Dystopia). Whether in painting, art, architecture, design, literature, poetry, graphic novels, technology, or digital media, Utopian thinking has had a profound impact on human expression, and the possibilities that exist for human and non-human endeavors. Potential topics include (but are not limited to): Afro-Futurism, ecological utopias, artistic utopias, architectural utopias, educational utopias, religious utopias, heterotopia, sexual utopias, economic utopias, ecological utopias, Marxist, Feminist, post-human, animal, or humanistic utopias. Also there is possibility for thinking about topics that are related to Utopia: dystopia, science-fiction, fantasy, totalitarianism, fascism, and historic conceptions and perspectives on Utopia or Dystopia. Academic papers and essays should be no more than 12-15 minutes in length when read aloud. Essay and paper proposals should have a sufficient title and an abstract between 200-300 words.
Abstracts and paper titles should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or before February 3rd. All submissions should contain the full name of the presenter, as well as institutional affiliation.If you have any questions, please direct them to the same email address.
The keynote for the conference will be Dr. Joshua Kotin, professor of English at Princeton and affiliated faculty member in the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies programs. His research focus is on modernism, poetry and poetics, and American Literature. He has published Utopias of One on how utopianism survives the failure of utopia.
There will be drinks, activities, and mingling the night before the conference (Friday, April 3). We will keep you posted on the details.