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Utopia and Nonviolence: 15th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society. Prague, 2–5 July 2014.
full name / name of organization:
Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague
The special focus of the 2014 conference of The Utopian Studies Society is nonviolence and its relationship to utopianism. Our politics and culture are built around violence and war. As already Ralph W. Emerson observed, “[t]hat the project of peace should appear visionary to great numbers of sensible men; should appear laughable, even, to numbers; should appear to the grave and good-natured to be embarrassed with extreme practical difficulties, —is very natural.” Moreover, nonviolent ends are often justified by violent means; we “fight” for justice and peace. Even the word “nonviolence”—like utopia—is defined by a lack; and likewise charged with idealism or wishful thinking. The two great pacifist thinkers and activists of the twentieth century, Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, were both assassinated. In such a climate, how relevant is nonviolence for utopianism? How can we become “neither victims nor executioners,” to echo the words of Albert Camus?
We particularly welcome presentations that concern the following areas:
While proposals that relate to the conference theme will be appreciated, we also encourage presentations that focus on any other aspect of the utopian tradition. The conference is open to a variety of presentations about utopias, both abstract and concrete. Students, scholars and non-academics from multi-disciplinary and international backgrounds are welcome to apply.
The conference language is English. For information how to submit an abstract (maximum 250 words) for a 20-minute presentation or a proposal for a roundtable on a special theme, visit the website http://utopiaprague2014.cz/call-for-papers.html. The deadline for submitting abstracts and proposals is April 16, 2014.