Call for Papers

**The CFP deadline for the 2013 SUS conference has passed, and we are no longer accepting proposals.

*Click here to download a PDF of the 2013 SUS CFP. Please distribute it widely.

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Utopia and Freedom

38th Annual Meeting
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina
November 14-17, 2013

The Society for Utopian Studies invites you to submit abstracts for any of the following:

  • a paper (between 15-20 minutes): a 150-250 word abstract summarizing the paper
  • a pre-constituted panel that consists of a title, abstract, designated Chair, and an abstract for each of 3-4 related papers (150 words minimum abstract/paper)
  • an informal roundtable panel on a topic (e.g., 3-4 presenters, or a combination of presenters and respondents): 250 word abstract defining the roundtable panel and an abstract for each presenter
  • a presentation or performance of creative work on any topic related to utopia: a 150 words abstract summarizing the presentation

*All submissions must include 3-5 keywords (this will help the Program Chair to form meaningful/cohesive panels).

Scholars and artists are encouraged to present on the intersections between freedom and Utopia.  On this 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation we welcome papers that analyze the meaning of utopic freedom and the potential limits to that freedom. As the history surrounding the Proclamation suggests, utopian visions of freedom are often multi-vocal and conflicted. We thus encourage participants to explore the contradictions surrounding invocations of freedom on a variety of topics, from the earliest utopian visions to the speculations and yearnings of the 21st-century.

We welcome papers from a diversity of disciplines that explore utopian and dystopian thought and practice: including art, architecture, geography, history, literature, music, film and new media, political science, rhetoric, sociology, theory and philosophy, and urban and rural planning.

Possible paper/panel topic ideas to spur the imagination:

  • Is freedom the primary ideal with which Utopia must engage?
  • What are the different modes of freedom present in literary and communitarian utopias?
  • What has historically blocked or currently forecloses the creation of Utopia?
  • What of free enterprise and free market utopian/dystopic visions?
  • What is the future of critical race studies? How and where can the study of utopia intersect with critical race studies?
  • How can scholars analyze the relation of place (a.k.a. Charleston) in relation to larger political and historical narratives/discourses of state/nation?
  • Where does the study of utopia transgress field and/or genre boundaries (in literature, criticism, architecture, art)? We encourage cross-boundary thinking: new media artists, writers, and scholars who broach fields in tracing utopian thought.

As you submit your paper/panel/roundtable proposal, please check the appropriate categories below, so that we can construct the most viable panel situations.

  • a need for an Overhead Projector
  • any scheduling restrictions that require shift in panel times
  • a need for a written letter of acceptance of your proposal, or whether an e-mail acceptance will suffice.

Changes in the time and date of your panel will not be possible after panels are scheduled; requests for AV will not be honored unless you submit them with your original abstract. The individual conference rooms will not possess WIFI, although the lobby and hotel rooms will have access. Please construct your presentation accordingly.

The conference organizers particularly welcome pre-constituted panels and roundtables. To facilitate this process, our website now offers you the option to CFP for a panel/roundtable and view CFPs from others.

For the first time, we will be opening up the SUS website for online proposal submission. Please submit a 150-250 word abstract by July 15, 2013 using one of the forms below:

Individual Paper or Creative Presentation/Performance Proposal
Panel or Roundtable Proposal

For inquiries about the program or if you have any issues with the online submission process, please e-mail Dina Smith,


For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact the Conference Coordinator, Claire Curtis,


For inquiries about the SUS website or technical issues with the online proposal submission or online registration, please contact our Web Developer, Jill Belli,