CFP: 42nd Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies

Featured

“Utopian Gracelands, Dystopian Blues, and the City on the Bluff”

When: Nov 9-12, 2017

Where: Doubletree By Hilton Memphis Downtown, 185 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN, USA

Paper Proposal Deadline: July 15, 2017

 

The Society for Utopian Studies is pleased to be meeting once again in Memphis, Tennessee, and invites you to submit papers and proposals on the theme, “Utopian Gracelands, Dystopian Blues, and the City on the Bluff.” As an interdisciplinary society from its founding, we encourage scholars and practitioners from any academic field to join and participate, as well as architects, city planners, artists, musicians—anyone whose work relates to utopian thought and possibility, and dystopian realities and visions. Members of intentional communities are also welcome to attend and/or to present.

Abstracts and proposals of up to 250 words are due by 15 July 2017 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 (encouraged!);
  • a performance of a creative work or presentation of an artwork or artifact;
  • a visual/audio presentation in the form of a poster and/or demo.

As we do every year, the Society invites papers on any topic related to the literature, history and theory of utopia in literature and practice. This broad umbrella covers dystopia, science fiction, speculative fiction, communal experiments and failures, film representations of any of the above.

However, we especially welcome proposals related to our place-based conference theme: “Utopian Gracelands, Dystopian Blues, and the City on the Bluff.” The City of Memphis is famous for many things: its role in “King Cotton” and the slave trade; its role in the Civil Rights Movement; its music of blues, soul, and jazz; its barbecue and catfish; and, of course, its river. Within walking distance of the Doubletree Downtown, you can visit iconic sites representing each of these: The National Civil Rights Museum; Beale Street, Sun Studios, and (a short drive from downtown) Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland; the Rendezvous for barbecue; and you can’t really miss the “mighty” Mississippi River.

Less well known is the history of indigenous peoples from the Quapaw and Chickasaw Nations, who inhabited the area now known as Memphis on the Mississippi River bluffs, and forced to leave during the Indian Removals of the 1800s. Burial mounds are still visible within the city limits. (Other Tennessee tribes include the Shawnee, Yuchi, Cherokee, and Koasati).

Memphis also claims its fame as the home of FedEx, and of America’s first supermarket chain, Piggly Wiggly.  Memphis history thus provides a wide variety of possible approaches and topics related to utopian and dystopian thought and practice. We particularly invite papers related to any aspect of the following:

  • Civil Rights and Utopian Political Movements: the history of utopian politics and political movement in Memphis and the South; “the Promised Land”
  • Indigenous Communities: Utopia and Dystopia, Before and After the European Arrival
  • Global Memphis: from riverboats to vapor trails; transnational exchanges (of cotton, slaves, culture, and packages)
  • The Mississippi River in Song and Literature
  • The Memphis Sound and the History of Contemporary Music
  • African American Literatures and Histories
  • Southern Intentional Communities
  • Indigenous Literatures and Histories
  • Graceland: Elvis Presley and/or his famous home; but also the concept of grace, and its relation to utopian thinking or thematics. Another possible related topic: Celebrity
  • Supermarkets and Consumer Utopias

 

As noted above, non-theme related papers are always accepted!  Recent themes of interest at our meetings have included:

  • Science/Speculative Fictions from around the world
  • Digital Humanities—given the longevity of Utopia and its many imitators, what forms of technology showcase this texts or other imagined or real-world utopias?
  • Teaching—pedagogical issues in teaching Utopia and similar works of utopian fiction, teaching dystopian works, theories of teaching speculative fiction
  • Artwork—presentations or displays of art and/or analyses of utopian themes in the works of Memphis or Southern artists

**DEADLINE: 15 July 2017 for 250-word abstracts and proposals**

Please use our online forms for submissions by clicking on Submit A Proposal  on our conference website, http://utopian-studies.org/conference2017.

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor at jaw55@psu.edu; for information about panel topics, assistance finding co-panelists, and other questions about the conference program, please contact Andrew Byers or Elizabeth Schreiber-Byers at SUS2017Conference@gmail.com. Those looking for co-panelists are reminded that H-Utopia (https://networks.h-net.org/h-utopia) offers a platform for sending out panel CFPs.

And for information on restaurants, local maps, transportation, and other information about the Memphis area, visit http://www.memphistravel.com/.

 

AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE SOCIETY’S AWARDS. Nominate yourself, or someone else, as appropriate!

Arthur O. Lewis Award – for younger scholars, revision of SUS conference paper. Deadline approaching: February 28, 2017

Eugenio Battisti Award – for the best article in Utopian Studies (journal) during 2016

Kenneth M. Roemer Innovative Course Design Award – for creative course modules or     syllabi. Deadline: Sept 15, 2017

Larry E. Hough Distinguished Service Award – for service to the Society

Lyman Tower Sargent Award for Distinguished Scholarship – for lifetime achievement in the field of Utopian Studies

CFP: Perspectives on Environment, Social Justice, and the Media in the Age of Anthropocene

An Interdisciplinary Research-Planning Conference of the 1HOPE Research Interest Group
In Cooperation with the University of Sassari

University of Sassari

Sassari, Italy, June 15-17, 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

The 1HOPE Research Interest Group is seeking proposals by academicians from a wide spectrum of disciplines—ranging from the physical and biological sciences, the social and political sciences, and the arts and humanities on the theme of environment, social justice, and the media in the age of Anthropocene.

The acronym 1HOPE stands for “One Humanity—One Planet Endeavor.” The 1HOPE Research Interest Group finds its roots in a conference, “One Planet—One Humanity: Communications For and Against,” that took place at Benedictine University on May 29-31, 2014. An outcome of that conference was the publication of a book, Interdisciplinary Essays on Environment and Culture: One Planet, One Humanity and the Media, edited by Luigi Manca and Jean-Marie Kauth, and published by Lexington Books in 2016. We plan to hold a second conference in Sardinia in June 2017 at the University of Sassari, and to produce a second publication from this conference.

Through the discussion at the conference we plan to explore possible links among three phenomena that are observed globally as well as locally and that we judge to constitute a potential threat to humanity’s material and spiritual survival: the destruction of the environment, the erosion of social justice, and the failure of the media to provide the citizens with pictures of reality upon which they can act. How are these phenomena related? In the final analysis these attacks on the environment, social justice, and media intelligence are an outcome of a dysfunctional society driven by corporate and political interests that are in conflict with those of humanity as a whole. In the face of such threats to our future, could we develop a sense of real solidarity and address the destructive forces that are polluting both our biological and the spiritual world? We seek a variety of answers to these questions from different disciplinary perspectives.

The conference will run for three days and will consist of one on-going plenary session in which each participant presents his or her ideas, after which we all engage in general discussion. Between the sessions, there will be breaks long enough for people to gather in smaller groups to discuss ideas and strategies. To facilitate discussion and interaction, we intend to limit the total conference attendance to 30 people.

One intended outcome of the conference is the compilation of a book provisionally titled Perspectives on Environment and Social Justice in The Age of Anthropocene. The book will consist of a peer-reviewed selection of essays developed through the conference.

Please send resume and 600-word abstract to Luigi Manca, interim chair of the steering committee (lmanca@ben.edu) by March 15, 2017.

CFP: 41st Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies

“Harbors and Islands: Explorations of Utopia, Past and Present”

When: Oct 27-30, 2016

Where: Saint Petersburg, Florida: Hilton Saint Petersburg, Bayfront

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Howard Segal, University of Maine

In conjunction with the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s seminal text Utopia, the conference will focus on theme “Islands and Harbors” to emphasize contrasting notions of isolation and community, safety and trepidation, the exotic “other” and the familiar, and similar examples of exploration, imagination, or “social dreaming” inspired by Utopia or its later antecedents.  Given this important anniversary, the conference is especially interested in presentations on More’s work in teaching, research, community planning, and philosophy.
The St. Petersburg area provides a vibrant and engaging conference location, featuring a guided walking tour of the historic Cuban community in Ybor City and the possibility of visiting the Salvador Dali Museum, Tampa Theater, Henry B. Plant Museum, Busch Gardens, and other nearby historical and cultural sites.  The area also features an active Thai temple, the Wat Mongkolrata, which welcomes visitors and offers walking tours, prayer demonstrations, and delicious Thai food.

Thematic approaches and activities might include:

Digital Humanities—Given the longevity of Utopia and its many imitators, what forms of technology showcase this text or other imagined or real-world utopias?

Islands–Themes of connectivity/disconnection in urban planning, architecture, social programs, intentional communities, and sociology

Harbors–Idylls of safety, domesticity, and community.  Themes of danger and refuge in utopian fiction, idealized eutopias

Migration–given Tampa’s role as a port city, themes of internationalization, globalization, migration, deportation, etc. Discussions of immigrant communities in conjunction with Ybor City, Wat Mongkolrata, and other Tampa landmarks and neighborhoods

Globalization–as an immigrant community, Tampa showcases themes of language, politics, internationalization, trade and commerce

Teaching–pedagogical issues in teaching Utopia and similar works of utopian fiction, teaching dystopian works, theories of teaching speculative fiction
Artwork—presentations or displays of art and/or analyses of utopian themes in the works of Salvador Dali (given the proximity of the Dali Museum in Tampa)

Abstracts and proposals of up to 250 words are due by 15 July 2016 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 poster or similar visual presentation

To submit proposals please follow the link below

For information on restaurants, local maps, transportation, and other information about the St. Petersburg area, visit www.discoverdowntown.com

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact John Barberet at Barberet@Polk.edu and for information about panel topics, assistance finding co-panelists, and other questions about the conference program, please contact Justin Nordstrom jan13@psu.edu. Those looking for co-panelists are reminded that H-Utopia (https://networks.h-net.org/h-utopia) offers a platform for sending out panel CFPs.  For more information about the Society for Utopian Studies visit https://utopian-studies.org/.

Nicole LaRose Travel Grant

The Nicole LaRose Travel Grant provides funding to offset travel costs for graduate students presenting their work at the Society for Utopian Studies annual meeting.  To be considered for this grant, please send your presentation proposal for the 2016 meeting, budget proposal, and a recent c.v. to Mark Tabone, Awards chair, at mtabone@utk.edu.  On the budget proposal, please list other resources you have available from your home institution, research grants, or other sources. Selection criteria include:
1) The quality of the paper proposal/abstract, with attention to its contribution to utopian studies 2) The soundness of the proposed budget 3) A demonstrated commitment to the society, as evidenced by repeat attendance and participation in the life of the society.

Grant winners will be notified by the end of August, when conference acceptances go out

 

Author Guidelines

The Society for Utopian Studies is an interdisciplinary and collegial academic society.  Because we want to engage a broad range of scholarship on several thematic issues dealing with utopianism, the SUS expects abstracts to refrain as much as possible from discipline-specific jargon and present their abstracts (and accepted papers and presentations) in language that is generally understood by non-specialists.

Society for Utopian Studies Kenneth M. Roemer Innovative Course Design Award

Kenneth M. Roemer Innovative Course Design Award

Each year, the Society for Utopian Studies (SUS) presents the Kenneth M. Roemer Award for innovative course design in Utopian Studies.  We invite submissions that center on an entire course within the field of Utopian Studies, or on a single unit on utopia within an undergraduate or graduate course.

Kenneth M. Roemer is the former president of the Society, winner of the 2008 Lyman Tower Sargent Award for Distinguished Scholarship, and teacher in the field of Utopian Studies for more than four decades.

A $200 award will be presented to the winner, and he or she will be invited to submit the winning syllabus and supplementary materials for publication on the Society’s website.

To apply for this award for 2015, send an electronic copy of your application as a single Pages or MS Word file to the Teaching Committee no later than September 14th, 2015.

The application submission must include the following items to be considered:

Contact Sheet: name, email, phone number (please make sure this is on a separate digital page, since winning entries may, with your permission, be published on the Teaching Committee Website). The committee will omit your contact information upon posting.
Course or unit description:
If submitting a syllabus or proposal for an entire course on utopia or utopianism, please include the following:

Name of Course and Course Rationale: a 2-5 page rationale for the course (or the unit within the course), stressing its governing ideas and relationship to Utopian Studies. Each year, we seek new angles on utopian pedagogy; in the past general surveys of utopian literature or utopian thought have been less successful in our teaching competition. We do, however, welcome fresh approaches to utopian surveys.
Syllabus: a reading list, an outline of major assignments, and assignment percentages/points (3-5 pages) [NB: Please omit basic information like office hours, anti-plagiarism statements and class etiquette]
Detailed Assignment: one assignment with an explanation of the learning outcome(s), along with how it enhances learning in the course; and provide an assessment plan or rubric suited to the assignment (1-2 pages, single spaced). Attempt to describe how your assignment promotes critical thinking and discovery within the field of Utopian Studies?
If submitting a proposal for a single unit or segment on utopia or utopianism within an undergraduate or graduate course, please include the following:

1. Rationale for the unit/ segment on utopianism and how it fits into the course as a whole (2-3 pages)

2. Syllabus for the entire course

3. Detailed Assignment: one assignment with an explanation of the learning outcome(s), how it enhances learning in the course, and an assessment plan or rubric suited to the assignment (1-2 pages, single spaced). How does your assignment promote critical thinking and discovery within the field of utopian studies?

Only submissions by current Society for Utopian Studies members will be accepted. The winner of this award must wait one year after winning to apply for this award again.

Please send your application and award inquiries to the 2015-2016 Chair of the Teaching Committee, Christina Braid @ susteachingaward@gmail.com

DEADLINE: September 14th, 2015

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

http://utopian-studies.org/conference

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 http://utopian-studies.org/conference.

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact Clifford Manlove, manlove@psu.edu

For information about panel topics, assistance finding co-panelists, and other questions about the conference program, please contact Clint Jones, clintwj1s@gmail.com.Those looking for co-panelists are reminded that H-Utopia (https://networks.h-net.org/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: http://www.attunefoods.com/products/Erewhon-Gluten-Free

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 nikaj@yorku.ca