CFP: Time, Freedom, Utopia: The Politics of Le Guin's Dispossessed (9/18/03; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Peter G. Stillman
contact email: 


For a proposed edited collection of essays on:

Time, Freedom, and Utopia: The Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed

We extend this call for papers to authors from all disciplines
interested in exploring the contemporary political significance of
Ursula K. Le Guin's powerful utopian novel The Dispossessed.

Published in 1974, The Dispossessed immediately received widespread
critical acclaim (including both the Hugo and Nebula awards) and
generated much scholarly commentary, particularly in the fields of
utopian and science fiction studies. More recently, the social and
political theorist Andr=E9 Gorz commented that The Dispossessed is "the
most striking description I know of the seductions -- and snares --
of self-managed communist or, in other words, anarchist society." To
date, however, the radical political ramifications of the novel
remain woefully under-explored.

We invite submissions that help to right this state of affairs. We
particularly welcome papers that address questions such as the
following. Is Gorz's characterization of the novel an accurate one?
To what extent may The Dispossessed be read as an anarchist,
ecological, post-industrial, or radical utopia? Which political
themes emerge most strongly from the story? Does the book have
anything distinctive to say about the nature and role of politics in
general? Does it have anything distinctive to say about the
relationship between art, politics, and society? To what extent does
Le Guin's "ambiguous utopia" represent a challenge to traditional
models of utopian thought? Is it fair to describe The Dispossessed as
a "dynamic" or "pluralistic" utopia? In what ways does the work
challenge the reader's sense of conventional temporal relationships?
What connections does it make between conceptions of time and ideas
of human freedom? What roles do moral, social, and political conflict
play in the story?

If you are interested in contributing to the planned volume, please
submit an essay title and c. 300-word proposal to either of the
editors, by 18th September 2003, at the addresses below. Note that
contributors to the proposed collection may also have the opportunity
-- subject to the final approval of the USSE conference programme
chair -- of presenting their work at the Fifth Annual Conference of
the Utopian Studies Society Europe, to be held in the summer of 2004
at the University of Oporto in Portugal.

Peter Stillman is Professor of Political Science at Vassar College,
where he has taught since 1970. He has published numerous articles
and book chapters on utopian political thought, Hegel's political
philosophy, ecological issues, and Marx's theories, and has co-edited
a new translation of Rousseau's Confessions.

Laurence Davis was educated at Columbia and Oxford Universities, and
has taught political and social theory at Ruskin College, University
Colleges Dublin and Galway, and Oxford University. He is currently
working in Dublin on a book on utopian political thought.

Dr. Laurence Davis
29 Parnell Court
Harold's Cross
Dublin 12
Telephone: +353 1 473 2083

Professor Peter Stillman
Department of Political Science
Vassar College (#463)
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0463
Telephone: +1 845 437 5581
=46ax: +1 845 437 7599

--Professor Peter G. StillmanDepartment of Political ScienceVassar College (#463)124 Raymond AvenuePoughkeepsie, NY 12604-0463 Rockefeller Hall 204on leave 2002-03 'b' semester; office hours by appointmente-mail is best; in addition: office phone: 845-437-5581; FAX: 845-437-7599 =============================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Erika Lin: ===============================================Received on Tue Jun 17 2003 - 10:24:13 EDT