Utopia, Dystopia and Climate Change: 20th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Europe

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Utopian Studies Society, Europe

Despite the incidence of climate change scepticism amongst right-wing politicians in the United States and elsewhere, there is a near-consensus amongst scientists that current levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas are sufficient to alter global weather patterns to possibly disastrous effect. Writing in the journal Utopian Studies in 2016, the Californian science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson observed that: "Climate change is inevitable - we’re already in it - and because we’re caught in technological and cultural path dependency, we can’t easily get back out of it ... It has become a case of utopia or catastrophe, and utopia has gone from being a somewhat minor literary problem to a necessary survival strategy."

The 20th conference of the European Utopian Studies Society will be held at Monash University’s Prato Centre in Tuscany from 1-5 July 2019. The conference theme will be Utopia, Dystopia and Climate Change and it will address the way utopianists have explored the eutopian and dystopian possible outcomes of anthropogenic global warming. As with all the Society’s conferences, papers on other aspects of utopias and utopianism will also be welcome. The guest of honour and keynote speaker will be Professor Darko Suvin, author of Metamorphoses of Science Fiction. We welcome proposals for individual 20-minute papers, panel sessions where 3 or 4 speakers address a shared topic, and workshops where contributors address questions of practical activism.


For individual 20-minute papers please send as a Word document an abstract (max. 300 words) with:

  • your name
  • institutional affiliation (if none, write independent scholar)
  • email address
  • title of paper
  • three keywords
  • a statement as to whether or not you are willing to chair a session other than your own
  • a statement as to whether or not you will require a formal letter confirming your participation in the conference.


For Panel and Workshop Sessions the Coordinator should send as a Word document:

  • title and abstract (max. 400 words) for the session
  • the names, affiliations and email addresses of agreed participants.


The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2019.

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent by 31 March 2019.

Please send proposals to utopias-conference@monash.edu with the subject heading "USS2019: [Your Name] Abstract."

The language of the conference is English. Papers in other languages may be accepted if grouped together into a separate session.