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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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Utopian Studies
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.118
Number of Followers: 3  
 
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ISSN (Print) 1045-991X - ISSN (Online) 2154-9648
Published by Penn State University Press Homepage  [34 journals]
  • Editors' Message

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      Abstract: This issue of Utopian Studies represents a journal milestone: thirty-five years of publication. Our gift to ourselves is the expansion of our editorial team, with Associate Editor Christian P. Haines overseeing the Critical Forum section of the journal. He is already at work on the Forum for the upcoming special issue on Queer Utopias (vol. 36, no. 1). An associate professor of English at The Pennsylvania State University, Christian specializes in American literature and culture from the nineteenth century to today, but his research and teaching interests extend to the environmental humanities, game studies, literary theory and continental philosophy, Marxism—and utopian studies. His first book is A Desire Called ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Rousseau's Implicit Socratism: Utopianism in the Social Contract

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      Abstract: Whether or not Rousseau's Sur le contrat social is utopian has been a matter of debate almost since the book was published in 1762.1 It is a question that has obvious implications for our general understanding of the work. The text has one message if it is not utopian—one of social reform—and quite another if it is (as we will see below, contemporary interpreters offer convincing views of what the book's message may be in that case). Setting the record straight in terms of the Social Contract's status in this regard should therefore be a top priority in Rousseau scholarship.2 Still, however, the debate drags on. This is due not only to the complexity of the text but also to a flaw in the question defining the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Hope Springs Eternal: Political Engagement in a Post-Anarchist Utopia

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      Abstract: Within the landscape of anarchism, a range of perspectives has emerged over time, each influenced by the sociopolitical contexts of their eras. While some strains of anarchism have held steadfast to their classical principles, others have evolved in response to contemporary challenges and philosophical insights. One such evolution is the emergence of post-anarchism, a theoretical framework that pushes the boundaries of traditional anarchism by incorporating the critiques of post-structuralist theories. This essay embarks on an exploration of a crucial facet of this transformation, specifically its implications for the concept of utopia. Unlike its predecessors, who pursued utopia by envisioning the liberation of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • In Tradition is the Preservation of the World: A Twenty-First Century
           Confucian Utopia

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      Abstract: In July 2001, an essay titled "Finding a Refuge Place for Endangered Ancient Chinese Culture: On Establishing Confucian Cultural Conservation Zones" appeared in Modern Education News, a magazine published in China. The short piece called for the creation of small autonomous intentional communities with independent political, social, economic, and education systems based on the traditional Chinese philosophy of Confucianism. Located in the countryside, these self-sufficient communities would provide an alternative to modern mainstream society, thereby serving as a place of refuge from the fast-paced urban lifestyle of twenty-first century China.The author, Zhang Xianglong (1949–2022), was a professor at the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Monastic Cell as Utopian Niche: The Contribution of Religious Niches
           to Socio-Ecological Transformation

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      Abstract: A while ago, together with some climate activists, I offered to calculate the CO2 footprint for passers-by in a European city center. As anticipated, everyone's footprint far exceeded the one to two-ton limit of CO2 per person beyond which global warming is likely to increase further. In fact, ten to fourteen tons of CO2 were not uncommon among the participants. By far the lowest consumption of any passer-by was about four tons. The individual was not a radical climate activist, nor did she live in an innovative ecological housing project. She was an elderly nun who lived in a small cell in a convent community: a monastery. She did not own a car, did not go on holiday trips, never stayed in hotels, was largely ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Curious Tales of The Scarlet Empire

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      Abstract: Late to join the ranks of "anti-Bellamy" novels,1 The Scarlet Empire,2 a dystopian, anti-socialist fantasy set in Atlantis, hit the shelves in 1906. Though very likely ghostwritten,3 Empire's signed author was David Maclean Parry, at the time a widely known national business figure, a recent and consequential president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and an infamous anti-labor and anti-socialist fulminator.4 The first quarter of the novel appeared in The Industrial Independent (October 1904–June 1905), a short-lived monthly of the Citizen's Industrial Association of America (CIAA), an offshoot of NAM that was, at the time, headed up by Parry. The novel's serialization was aborted with the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Paradise on Fire: Dialectics of Utopia in Edward Bond's The War Plays

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      Abstract: Edward Bond's The War Plays (1985), comprising Red Black and Ignorant, The Tin Can People, and Great Peace, present a bleak postapocalyptic human existence wherein oppressive sociopolitical forces shape human behavior, influencing individuals' most personal aspirations. However, the three plays differ in their depiction of the relationship between characters and social institutions. While Red Black and Ignorant and the first half of Great Peace show how institutional mechanisms impose strict rules and regulations on the characters, The Tin Can People and the second half of Great Peace depict the absence of institutions, which enables an examination of the characters' ability to create new social structures and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Critical Forum Introduction: Cultural Encounters and Textual Speculations
           in the Mediterranean

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      Abstract: This issue's Critical Forum takes its point of departure from two paradigm shifts. The first one has already occurred in utopian studies, as attested by the increasingly evident interest in non-Western conceptions of utopianism and representations of speculative fiction. Scholars of utopian studies such as Lyman Tower Sargent and Jacqueline Dutton have been writing on utopias from other cultural traditions. The 2013 special issue of Utopian Studies (vol. 24, no. 1), which was introduced by Sargent and Dutton, included articles that reflected Iranian, Chinese, and Korean narratives and perspectives. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, monographs1 and journal special issues2 began examining literary ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Disciplinary Utopias: The Mediterranean as a Context and Artistic
           Mediations

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      Abstract: The Mediterranean was conceptualized as a coherent body of water with a unique history in the nineteenth century.1 This article moves beyond the tendency to study the Mediterranean as a static context in which history unfolds. Unlike most works in Mediterranean studies, it does not seek to identify the best methodology for studying the history of the Mediterranean.2 Rather, this article steers attention to how artists and writers draw upon the Mediterranean in order to recontextualize their community in new historical circumstances and geopolitical milieus for creating utopian visions. The Mediterranean can be imagined, in Adrian Lahoud's words, "as a site of endless epistemological provocation"3 because it ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • After the Night, Before the Gate: Kafkaesque Imaginations and Dystopian
           Speculations in the Mediterranean

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      Abstract: Franz Kafka's oeuvre is permeated with a dystopian sentiment that manifests itself in the author's complex and unsettling representations of bureaucratic conundrums and institutional oppression. His influence has been discussed extensively within European and Anglo-American circles, yet remains understudied in non-Anglophone literatures. Drawing mainly on Kafka's Der Prozess, published posthumously in 1925 and translated into English as The Trial in 1937, this article examines two novels from the Mediterranean Basin: Gece (1985; translated as Night, 1994) by the Turkish author Bilge Karasu (1930–1995) and Al-Ṭābūr (2013; translated as The Queue, 2016) by the Egyptian author Basma Abdel Aziz (1976–). I follow the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Looking for Utopia in the Mediterranean: Contemporary Türkiye and
           Underground Station by Çağrı Aktaş

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      Abstract: Speculative fiction, an umbrella term for such subgenres as utopia, dystopia, science fiction, climate fiction, and postapocalyptic fiction, has recently found a distinctive voice in Türkiye, one of the Mediterranean countries. The surge in speculative narratives produced there demonstrates Turkish authors' active engagement with pressing local and global issues, themes, and problems. The pursuit of an alternative world is instrumental in compelling individuals to challenge and move past existing boundaries, in both literal and metaphorical senses, with a hope of achieving a more utopian future. Türkiye's recent presidential and parliamentary elections, on May 14 and May 28, 2023, have only intensified the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Settling the Desert, Unsettling the Mirage: Urban Ecologies of Arab and
           Gulf Futurisms in Ahmed Naji's Using Life

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      Abstract: Imaginaries of the city have long been central to visions of the future in speculative fiction (SF).1 Since the nineteenth century, SF creators have problematized city life, which they regarded as the litmus test for modernity, to critique or to applaud the effects of technological and scientific developments. The SF city is often paradoxically depicted as both the birthplace and the graveyard of the future—be it the gloomy vertical city of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), organized around the principle of class segregation, the neon-lit cyberpunk city of William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984), run by mega-corporations, or the green mini-city of Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia (1975), committed to sustainability. ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Speculative Fiction South of the Mediterranean: A Literature of Crisis
           between Dystopian Anxieties and Utopian Alternatives

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      Abstract: The Mediterranean has been a space for cultural encounters since antiquity. Empires rose and fell on its shores, decisive battles were won and lost on its waters, and trade waxed and waned between its peoples. Maritime powers there exchanged blows and ambassadors for centuries, influencing and enriching each other in the process. The sea was a hyphen joining cultures north and south of its watery expanses in literary and artistic interactions that refracted their traditions, styles, and genres, and it enriched them with borrowings from their neighbors. Literature was particularly receptive to the dynamic processes of translation, adaptation, and remediation that characterized the transmission and dissemination of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Utopia on Earth': Sustainability, White Tourism, and Neocolonial
           Desire

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      Abstract: Several scholars, and even a few journalists,1 have written about the figure of the international tourist who uses South Asia as a canvas upon which one can create and recreate the self. Perhaps the most discernable example in the pop culture imagination is Elizabeth Gilbert's trip to an ashram in India, documented in Eat Pray Love (2006), which inspired a problematic succession of travelers who followed her footsteps to communities that simply could not accommodate the traffic. International travel and tourism from the Global North to places like India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka frequently represent a form of neocolonialism wherein destinations and the people who live there are imagined not as places with a complex ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Euthanasia in Utopian Literature

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      Abstract: The word euthanasia, meaning a peaceful, gentle, or easy death, has been traced back to Roman times. But the "good" in a good death is obviously open to interpretation. Good for whom' The individual' The family of the individual' The society' And, who decides' The individual' The doctor' The family of the individual' The legal system' These questions are constantly raised throughout the literature with diametrically opposed answers given from the earliest times to the present. And, unfortunately, one word is used for all the positions, with two subcategories, voluntary and involuntary, both of which are perceived as good for someone.Death is universal but whether or not a person should have a choice about when to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • White Power and American Neoliberal Culture by Patricia Ventura and Edward
           K. Chan (review)

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      Abstract: White Power and American Neoliberal Culture, by utopian studies scholars Patricia Ventura and Edward K. Chan, feels like a tour de force. I say "feels" for a reason: if you live in America, what you read in this book feels entirely familiar, sketching out U.S. racialized socio-political dynamics. But I also experienced a feeling of uncanniness, as Ventura and Chan expose the underbelly of a white supremacist United States—in which I happen to live. I have not read so clear and so well historicized an account of the kinds of events that prompt me to say, almost nightly, "This country is insane." The book does not change that opinion—but it does do something else: it makes sense of the insanity. It is a diagnosis of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Spectres of Pessimism: A Cultural Logic of the Worst by Mark Schmitt
           (review)

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      Abstract: What I have called radical utopianism was an important concept for two of the founding figures of British cultural studies, E. P. Thompson and Raymond Williams.1 In 1976, in the revised edition of William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary, Thompson introduced into English Miguel Abensour's concept of the "education of desire."2 This has had a profound impact on what has become known as utopian studies but has had hardly any influence on cultural studies. Ruth Levitas together with Thompson (from whom she borrowed the concept) have probably done more than most to make Abensour's formulation popular in critical work on utopianism.3Abensour, however, was almost certainly drawing on part of a point made by William ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Fantasy: How It Works by Brian Attebery (review)

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      Abstract: Fantasy is a literary genre often associated with the unreal. As it deals with imaginary worlds or magical feats, its tools and strategies for making meaning differ from those of realist literature. In the past, this has sometimes led to misunderstandings about the merits of fantasy and to its dismissal as escapist literature. Fantasy has also been seen as the reactionary reverse of science fiction, as a genre that looks into a mythical past with reverence and longing and that perpetuates unjust systems of oppression.Brian Attebery sets out to respond to these old conceptions of fantasy in Fantasy: How It Works. As a scholar who has devoted most of his long career to advocate for the value of fantasy literature ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Age and Ageing in Contemporary Speculative and Science Fiction by Sarah
           Falcus and Maricel Oró-Piqueras (review)

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      Abstract: The pervasiveness of questions of temporality, futurity, and immortality in science and speculative fiction opens new perspectives on aging and generationality. However, despite the potential of these genres to illuminate alternative ways of thinking about the human being in time, there has been a clear tendency within the field of aging studies to favor the analysis of realist narratives. To be sure, Age and Ageing in Contemporary Speculative and Science Fiction does not venture into completely uncharted territory. Teresa Mangum's study of "rejuvenation narratives," Andreu Domingo's conceptualization of "demodystopias," and Sarah Falcus's analysis of generational anachronism in dystopian novels have attempted to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw by Hua Li
           (review)

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      Abstract: Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw focuses on the years after Mao Zedong's demise, from 1976 to 1983, during which China's politics and culture underwent unusual changes. Li's book is a laudable scholarly endeavor that provides readers with a new interpretation of science fiction (SF) during the post-Mao era. Li connects the production of Chinese SF to a wider context, including mainstream literary perspectives, domestic political demands and predicaments, changing international relations, and Western SF traditions. From my point of view, this book contributes to existing scholarship in four different ways.First, Li offers an explanation for the launching of the "Anti-Spiritual Pollution ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Dante in Deutschland: An Itinerary of Romantic Myth by Daniel DiMassa
           (review)

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      Abstract: Dante in Deutschland is an eloquently written study of the "itinerary," as the author labels it, of the myth of Dante's personage and his works in Germany from the Romantic period to the Second World War. The latest book in Bucknell University Press's series New Studies in the Age of Goethe, edited by John B. Lyon, the book's central argument is that "to the Romantics, the Commedia was more than a touchstone—it was a lodestar, its author no less vital to them than Shakespeare had been to the Sturm und Drang" (3). This premise lays the foundation for a reception study that is a model of Comparative Literature research. As Daniel DiMassa explains, his approach does not just examine "the Romantics' attempt at a ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The End of This World: Climate Justice in So-Called Canada by Angele Alook
           et al. (review)

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      Abstract: The End of This World: Climate Justice in So-Called Canada by Angele Alook, Emily Eaton, David Gray-Donald, Joël Laforest, Crystal Lameman, and Bronwen Tucker is both an imagining of a utopic, fossil-fuel-free world and a spirited call to action. Written in plain language and aimed at a wide audience, the book examines contemporary so-called Canada through an indigenous-centered,1 decolonial lens and frames the current climate crisis that we are in as one of relationship failure. The authors state: "We believe it is important for a just transition discussions to be accessible to all audiences because, fundamentally, what we're talking about in this book is repairing relationships. Repairing relationships with each ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About
           the Good Life by Kristen R. Ghodsee (review)

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      Abstract: Kristen R. Ghodsee has written a wide-ranging, highly readable, and commendably radical vindication of utopian thought and experimentation. Everyday Utopia is aimed at the educated lay reader—itself, perhaps, a utopian projection—rather than specialists. Nevertheless, all but the most erudite and cosmopolitan of scholars will encounter unfamiliar and compelling utopiana within its pages. While her earlier book, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence (2018), concentrated on "state-sponsored solutions" to the deprivations of capitalism and patriarchy, the present volume sets its sights squarely on the private sphere, and utopian visions "for rearranging our domestic ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Cultivating the Possible

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      Abstract: Since its inaugural conference in May 2021, the Possibility Studies Network (PSN) has emerged as a vibrant space of hope, inspiring scholars, and practitioners around the globe to revive, (re)discover, and (re)imagine a central dimension of human existence: the possible. Following the success of the first two conferences online, in 2023 the network organized its first fully inperson event on the theme of Cultivating the Possible: Reimagining Education and Society. Hosted by the School of Psychology at Dublin City University, in partnership with Creative Ireland, the latest conference brought together more than 150 participants from over twenty-five countries with the aim of "advancing the theoretical and practical ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Gendered Geographies across Time I

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      Abstract: The first Early Researchers' Seminar for Science and Speculative Fiction: Gendered Geographies across Time showcased the many and diverse approaches to speculative fiction (SF) currently being pursued within the University of Salamanca's English Department, which in a matter of years has become an unexpected hotbed of aspiring SF scholars. A graduate student–led initiative organized by Paula Barba Guerrero (University of Salamanca), the seminar comprised six sessions that took place in spring 2023. The series opened with a keynote by Miriam Borham Puyal (University of Salamanca), followed by five more panels throughout the semester. Open to the public and organized in a hybrid format, the event positioned itself as ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Hopeful and Just Futures Across Scale

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      Abstract: In the face of global climate destruction and ecological collapse, many have witnessed—and perhaps grown numb to—the repeated failures of governments and industries to organize a meaningful transition toward more sustainable social and economic formations. Against the troubling concern that the "novelty" and "impact" of techno-solutions have lost all meaning, the Solar Media Collective asks who or what dictates the scales at which change is made visible, meaningful, useful, and sustainable. In other words, we ask: where should we look for the hopeful gestures that define our future worlds, and how can we resourcefully resist and model alternative pathways to Big Tech's ever-grander "solutions" to the climate ... Read More
      PubDate: 2024-06-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
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