SUS 2015 CFP

Call for Papers and Proposals

40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies

“Global Flows: Diaspora, Diversity, and Divergence in Utopia”

Proposal Deadline: 15 JULY 2015

When: 5-8 November 2015

Where: Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown

Pittsburgh, PA

Confirmed Speaker: Professor Rosemary Jolly, Weiss Chair of the Humanities

The Pennsylvania State University at University Park

The field of Utopian Studies has both challenged and been challenged by the many sociopolitical and cultural effects of globalization. This is nothing new: the role of human movements and migration (forced and unforced), the developments of technology and transportation, the advancements and adversities brought on by new cultural contacts and contexts are the very stuff of utopian literature and theory, from More’s Utopia to this day. Celebrating the 40th anniversary conference of the Society for Utopian Studies, we invite a broad range of papers that consider the relationships of utopian theories, movements, experiments, fantasies, and work of any kind to the metaphor of “flow.” With our conference city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, located at the juncture of three major rivers, this year’s meeting is situated in a place of confluence, divergence, and diversity.

We invite papers that engage the theme of “global flows” as that notion relates to utopian, dystopian and speculative matters in the past, present, or future(s). Possible areas of inquiry include:

  • the flows of people (through migration, exile, expulsion, trafficking), flows of cultures and ideologies;
  • diasporas and their relationships to racial and cultural diversity in any historical period;
  • notions of community and/as confluence (or not), including instances and/or theories of communal/cultural inclusions and exclusions;
  • the diversity of species, in the context of global challenges to habitat by human movements, and anthropogenic environmental changes;
  • disease vectors with or against the “flow,” i.e., the movements of bacteria and viruses along, or against, the movements of people in planes, ships, on foot, insects, animals, ocean currents and winds;
  • digital humanities, media, technology, and/or global information streams; flow and stagnation as historiographic or narratological (i.e. temporal) tropes;
  • new materialist perspectives on notions of “entanglement” among human and nonhuman beings, on the interactions/intra-actions of life and nonliving matter;
  • the Posthuman;
  • the role of boundaries, borders, and barriers to flow – e.g., issues of “containment”;
  • the limits of the metaphor of “flow” as a way of understanding the relationships of the intimate and the global.

Other creative riffs off these topics are, of course, encouraged! To that end, this year’s conference continues the successful introduction of a poster and demonstration track. We seek proposals for presentations, performances, experiments and “experiences” related to our conference theme. This flexible format allows for the presentation of interactive games, new apps, and other digital projects–indie developers and digital humanists welcome!–as well as posters, art-works, architectural schematics, and other imaginative experiments in new or “old” media.

Abstracts and proposals of up to 250 words are due by 15 July 2015 for the following:

  • A 15-20 minute individual paper;
  • a full panel of up to four speakers, or an informal roundtable of 3-6 presenters;
  • a presentation or performance of a creative work or artifact;
  • a visual/audio presentation in the form of a poster and/or demo.

Please use our online forms for submissions by clicking “Submit a Proposal” on our conference website

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact Clifford Manlove, For information about panel topics, assistance finding co-panelists, and other questions about the conference program, please contact Clint Jones, looking for co-panelists are reminded that H-Utopia ( offers a platform for sending out panel CFPs.

Have Your Utopia—And Eat it Too

Has anyone seen the Attunefoods brand of cereal called “Erewhon”? It’s in pretty much every grocery store in Northeast Ohio. According to their website:

“Since 1966, Erewhon has led the organic revolution and we remain passionately committed to providing the purest organic foods. We continue promoting the philosophy that ‘if what you eat is good, and pure, and true to its source, all else will follow.’ It’s the cereal you can feel good about eating whether you’re enjoying our Organic Whole Wheat Raisin Bran, Organic Rice cereals, Organic Corn cereals or Organic Buckwheat cereal. Our Erewhon organic cereals are made of non-GMO ingredients and feature nine certified gluten-free flavors.”

This blurb, of course, makes no mention of its namesake, Erewhon: or, Over the Range, by Samuel Butler, nor of its relation to utopia, but I do wonder if we can assume that the company’s commitment to “providing the purest organic foods” is a manifestation of the utopian imagination.

What do you think?

Check out the cereal here:

Been a While

I, your humble editor, have been embroiled in the travesty that is the new way of administrating higher education, so I am working as an adjunct and trying to make ends meet; thus I have allowed Utopus Discovered to fall by the proverbial wayside. My apologies. The future of UD, whether in my hands or another, should improve presently. Expect to see repostings of important society information such as calls for papers, news about members, and my personal favorite, Miscellaneotopia. With any luck I will see you all in person in Pittsburgh, but, alas, not in Montréal.

Cheers for now.

Utopia Catalog

Ken Roemer writes:

The antique book collecting company Erasmushaus (hdb@erasmushaus)—Bäumleingasse 18, Postgach, CH-4001, Basel—has published a beautiful little catalogue (#927) entitled Utopia. The annotations are in English and the catalogue is loaded with illustrations.

Thanks Ken!

Dreams of Biology

I was sent a copy of Dario Altobelli’s I Sogni Della Biologia: Utopia e Ideologia delle Scienze della Vita del Novecento, which I cannot read because I do not read Italian, but the title translates (roughly) to Dreams of Biology: Utopia and the Ideology of Life Science in the 20th Century. Those of you who do read Italian may want to check it out.

Political Uses of Utopia Workshop, April 18-19, 2013

Founder’s College at York University in Toronto presents the Political Uses of Utopia Workshop, April 18-19, 2013.

The workshop features scholars representing different traditions and perspectives within political theory. The goal is to explore in a focused manner what the idea of utopia and different forms of utopianism can contribute to political thought across different traditions, including liberalism, radical democracy, anarchism, Marxism, Critical Theory, environmentalism, and feminism. Six leading international scholars have been invited, together with six emerging scholars, to lead a discussion with students and faculty from local universities as well as a more general public on the different possibilities for thinking utopia politically.

On each of the workshop’s two days, three sessions will be held during the day at Founder’s College at York University in Toronto. The first two will be introduced by papers by leading scholars in different subfields of political theory, to be followed by questions from the audience. The third, afternoon session will be launched by a panel in which the presenters will be joined by three emerging scholars; together, they will seek to engage the audience in a more general discussion of the themes that have arisen so far.

In order to facilitate involvement, texts will be circulated texts in advance—those the speakers will present and/or others chosen by them to serve as a basis for discussion—both by email among the participants and more broadly by means of a website constructed for this purpose. Each day will then culminate in a public lecture by a senior political theorist whose work on utopia has not yet attained the attention it deserves within English-language political theory.

For more information please email Nika Jabbarova (event coordinator) at


Utopia Could Be the Answer


From Ken Roemer: “Via snail mail Mickey Abrash, one of the two founders (along with Art Lewis) of SUS, sent me this photo he found in his file. The photo was taken in the “Speaker’s Corner” in London. MIckey said it was sent to him in 1984. He doesn’t know who the sign holder was. Maybe someone in cyberland can identify him.”

It would be interesting indeed to see if anyone out there knows who this is. Either way, it is an interesting photo. Enjoy.


New Harmony Then and Now

About a week ago, I received a book in the mail from Indiana University Press called New Harmony Then and Now, that the press describes as follows: “New Harmony Then and Now is a photographic and historic celebration of two of America’s great Utopian communities located in New Harmony, Indiana. The Harmonists, started by George Rapp, labored to provide physical, intellectual, and spiritual wealth for its members. Ten years later, the Owenites, founded by Robert Owen and his partner William Maclure, settled there, intent on improving humanity through innovations in social theory, educational systems, and discoveries in natural science. Though Owen’s communal experiment would not endure, a new social frontier prospered. Today, New Harmony remains a haven of promise, a village that honors its progressive heart. Intellectuals as well as artisans are drawn to this place of science and spirit.”

This is a beautiful book with beautiful pictures, and I recommend you check it out. —AH