The Society for Utopian Studies Conference, Charleston, SC (Nov. 14-17th)

full name / name of organization: 
The Society for Utopian Studies
contact email:

"Freedom and Utopia"
38th Annual Meeting
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina
November 14-17, 2013

Scholars and artists are encouraged to present on the intersections between freedom and Utopia (but not exclusively). On this 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation we welcome papers that analyze the meaning of utopic freedom and the potential limits to that freedom. As the history surrounding the Proclamation suggests, utopian visions of freedom are often multi-vocal and conflicted. We thus encourage participants to explore the contradictions surrounding invocations of freedom on a variety of topics, from the earliest utopian visions to the speculations and yearnings of the 21st-century.

We welcome papers from a diversity of disciplines that explore utopian and dystopian thought and practice: including art, architecture, geography, history, literature, music, film and new media, political science, rhetoric, sociology, theory and philosophy, and urban and rural planning.

We invite you to submit abstracts for any of the following:

• a paper (between 15-20 minutes): a 150-250 word abstract summarizing the paper
• a pre-constituted panel that consists of a title, designated Chair, and an abstract for each of three, related papers (150 words minimum abstract/paper)
• an informal roundtable panel on a topic (e.g., 3 presenters, or a presenter and 2 or 3 respondents): 250 word abstract defining the roundtable panel
• a presentation or performance of creative work on any topic related to utopia: a 150 words abstract summarizing the presentation

Possible paper/panel topic ideas to spur the imagination:

 Is freedom the primary ideal with which Utopia must engage?
 What are the different modes of freedom present in literary and communitarian utopias?
 What has historically blocked or currently forecloses the creation of Utopia?
 What of free enterprise and free market utopian/dystopic visions?
 What is the future of critical race studies? How and where can the study of utopia intersect with critical race studies?
 How can scholars analyze the relation of place (a.k.a. Charleston) in relation to larger political and historical narratives/discourses of state/nation?
 Where does the study of utopia transgress field and/or genre boundaries (in literature, criticism, architecture, art)? We encourage cross-boundary thinking: new media artists, writers, and scholars who broach fields in tracing utopian thought.

Please submit paper/panel/roundtable submissions via the SUS conference web page by June 15, 2013:

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Dina Smith, Drake University

cfp categories: 
modernist studies