Special issue of Utopian Studies on Architecture and Utopia -- Guest Editor, Dr Nahtaniel Coleman

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Nathaniel Coleman, Newcastle University


The Problematic of Architecture and Utopia

Special issue of Utopian Studies (25:1, Spring 2014) on Architecture and Utopia

Call for Papers – Deadline: 01 May 2013

Guest Editor: Dr Nathaniel Coleman, Newcastle University nathaniel.coleman@ncl.ac.uk


Papers are invited for publication in a forthcoming issue of Utopian Studies on the topic of Architecture and Utopia. In this instance, architecture is construed as including interiors and gardens in one direction, and cities and landscapes in the other, with individual buildings, or assemblages of them, in the middle.

Although architecture seems an obvious companion of Utopia, often providing frameworks for utopian or dystopian speculation, the association between Utopia and architecture remains under-theorized, despite continuing, and even increasing, interest in the relationship between the two. It is precisely this gap in thinking that the forthcoming special issue of Utopian Studies on Architecture and Utopia will consider. Architecture and Utopia are clearly cognate, which raises the question as to why Utopia is largely invisible to architecture. Moreover, architectural education appears to be preoccupied with apocalyptic imagery, while practice is mostly captivated by commerce, with the result that neither is particularly concerned with philosophical reflection on the nature of the "good life" and its settings.

While visionary thinking in architecture, in the form of fantastic, often unbuildable, projects is how the play of Utopia is mostly understood from within architecture, in this instance, authors are encouraged to interrogate Utopia's interaction with the built environment through a consideration of constructed settings as something of a verification of utopian theory by design.

The overarching aim of the special issue is to highlight current thinking on the problematic of architecture and utopia. As such, promising submissions will inevitably be analytical and interpretative, rather than primarily descriptive. Equally, all submissions should demonstrate a grounding in the theories of architecture and utopia alike (coming from within the discipline of architecture and utopian studies respectively), even if the position taken by the author is primarily critical of either or both. Authors are also expected to be familiar with the developing literature on architecture and Utopia, and with definitions of Utopia coming from within utopian studies.

The deadline for submissions is 01 May 2013; accepted articles will be published in Utopian Studies 25:1, Spring 2014. Submissions should be made using the online portal for the journal, indicating that they are intended for the Architecture and Utopia Special Issue. Submissions should be no more than 8,000 words in length, including notes.


Utopian Studies is a peer-reviewed publication of the Society for Utopian Studies, publishing scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects related to utopias, utopianism, utopian literature, utopian theory, and intentional communities. Contributing authors come from a diverse range of fields, including American studies, architecture, the arts, classics, cultural studies, economics, engineering, environmental studies, gender studies, history, languages and literatures, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology and urban planning. Each issue also includes dozens of reviews of recent books.