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Utopias Today! A Special Issue of the Journal of Contemporary Theory, July 2010
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Patricia Vieira and Michael marder
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Utopias Today!, a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Thought, forthcoming in July 2010
Guest-edited by Patricia Vieira and Michael Marder
“Utopia” has always been a codeword for the transcendence of the actual in an effort to move beyond the confines of ‘what is’. Whether religious, political, or philosophical, utopias tend to follow two general paths. One stand of utopian thinking emphasizes what could be called a “trans-historical transcendence”, whereby an ideal can never be concretized in the temporality of human existence and must remain in the realm of what is not and could not be. As opposed to this, one might envision “intra-historical transcendence”, a utopian movement beyond history within historical becoming, that implies the opening up of the possible within the actual. In the context of the latter configuration, transcendence arises as a fold in immanence itself, rupturing the continuum that extends from potentiality to its realization.
Utopias Today! invites a multi-disciplinary reflection on the relevance (if not the urgency) of the term “utopia” in the contemporary theoretical discourse and the present historical situation. Further, we wish to stimulate a discussion on the possibility of “intra-historical transcendence” shaping a transformative political theory and praxis.
We encourage the submission of papers on topics such as: transcendence and escapism; utopia and the end of history; messianism; normative ideality; utopia and ideology (reactionary or revolutionary?); utopia and critical thinking; utopia and the state of exception; utopian thinking and modernity / post-modernity; colonialism and utopianism; utopia and (the end of) work; etc.