Appel à communication : « Utopias » (Brighton, septembre 2015)

Projet de ville spatiale de la Nasa, 1957The idea of utopia was always been two faced. On the one hand it was the place that is no place (u-topos) – the ideal that could only be imagined. On the other it was the eu-topos of the ancients, the place where the good life could finally be realised. This conference calls on contributors to play both faces : first, to engage in fantastical reimagining of how we live now, to think outside of all the forms of convention which delimit our vision of the future; second, to think of utopia as a form of critique of what is the case in the name of what could be the case. This means taking risks in thinking about transforming our world for the better, and doing so from the radically disparate disciplines within which this idea has been posited – philosophy, politics, architecture, design, literature, film, engineering and education to name only a few. It means also taking seriously the idea of dystopias, both real and imagined.

This conference aims both to think and practice a form of politics that is creative, egalitarian, radical and interdisciplinary against all existing conventions. We hope to attract colleagues from a wide range of disciplines who wish to pose questions of Utopia, whether in transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary ways or from within a single discipline.

Topics might include, but are by no means limited to :

· Histories of utopias
· Conceptualisations of utopias
· Artistic and fictional utopias
· Utopia as critique
· Feminist utopias
· Resistance and the politics of utopia
· Architectures of the future: building the utopian future
· Utopia in the neoliberal world
· Actually existing dystopias
· Utopias of the space age
· Marxism and utopianism
· Reclaiming the utopian socialists
· Utopia and the politics of conflict
· Are utopias conflict free?
· Educational utopias: from Émile to free schools
· Peasant utopias
· Utopian cityscapes
· Subtopias
· Utopian and dystopian landscapes
· Theological utopias
· Utopias of excess or utopias of denial
· Engineering perfection
· Dystopian pessimism
· Dystopian realism

We anticipate that these and related issues will be of interest to people working in, among other areas, cultural studies, philosophy, political theory, art, politics, sociology, media studies, social geography and history.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed by 12th January 2015, at the latest, to Bob Brecher:

The conference fee is £210. This includes refreshments, lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and a buffet dinner on the Thursday evening. There are a limited number of places available for graduate students and for people who have no institutional affiliation at the reduced price of £105. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for one of these places when sending your abstract.

Please note : the conference fee does not include accommodation and, unfortunately, we are unable to offer travel grants or other forms of financial assistance.

Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (CAPPE)
10th Annual, International, Interdisciplinary Conference
Wednesday 2nd – Friday 4th September 2015
University of Brighton, UK



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