Utopian Animals

full name / name of organization: 
Keridiana Chez
contact email: 

This panel has already been accepted by the Society for Utopian Studies 35th Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 28-31, 2010. We are seeking a fourth paper.

In H.G. Wells's A Modern Utopia (1905), the narrator holds a remarkable conversation with a dog-loving botanist who declares that the stated purposes of purging contagious diseases would never, for him, justify the mass extermination of pet dogs. The botanist staunchly concludes, "I do not like your utopia, if there are to be no dogs." This panel explores the function of non-human animals in twentieth-century imagined communities. How do animals serve to establish—or unravel—a utopia? What do utopian texts teach us about human-animal relationships?

Papers already accepted:

  • "Magical Creatures: Animals, Psychic Communication, and Science in Sally Miller Gearhart's The Wanderground"
  • "Some Evolution Required: The Importance of Animal Nature in Creating a Utopian Society in Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos"
  • "Salvation through Pet-Keeping in Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
  • Papers are expected to run for 15 minutes to allow for discussion. Please send a 250-300 word abstract and a 1-page abbreviated CV by June 30th to make it onto the program.

    E-mail proposals in Word/the body of the e-mail to:
    Keridiana Chez, CUNY Graduate Center, kerychez [at] gmail.com