Civil Rights, Social Justice, and the Midwest

Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 28-31, 2010

Milwaukee in the 1960s and 1970s was a key site for civil rights marches,
particularly around the open housing movement. From 1897 through much of the
20th Century, the city was governed by a succession of Socialist mayors,
elected on their platform of practical, “sewer socialism.” And Wisconsin
itself and its Midwestern neighbors have long been home to experiments
in intentional community.

We encourage papers, panels, presentations and performances on literary,
political, social, and architectural aspects of the civil rights struggle,
intentional communities, and practical socialism with a Midwestern focus for
the 2010 conference.  We also welcome papers on other aspects of the utopian
tradition – from the earliest utopian visions to the utopian speculations
and yearnings of the 21st century, including art, architecture, urban and
rural planning, literary utopias, dystopian writings, utopian political
activism, theories of utopian spaces and ontologies, music, new media, or
intentional communities.

*       *       *

Milwaukee has a rich array of museums, restaurants, theaters, parks, and
universities for conference attendees to visit. The city boasts the first
U.S. commission by Santiago Calatrava, at the world-class Milwaukee Art
Museum; Frank Lloyd Wright buildings; an excellent opera company;
microbreweries galore; award-winning chefs; 19th Century beer baron
mansions; Lake Michigan, and more.

Please send a 100-250 word abstract by June 1, 2010 to:

Brian Greenspan
Department of English
1812 Dunton Tower
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON, Canada  K1S 5B6

Or e-mail submissions to:  (please put “sus
submission” in the subject line).  As you submit your abstract, please
indicate if you have any scheduling restrictions, audiovisual needs
(overhead projector; DVD/VHS player), special needs, or a need for a written
letter of acceptance of your proposal.

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact
the Conference Coordinator, Peter Sands, at:  sands@UWM.EDU

Ultimate Utopia?

The social networking beast that is Facebook usually allows a couple of sponsored ads off to the right of whatever the interface looks like this month, and this one caught my eye because of the attention grabbing headline: “Ultimate Utopia.”  Go figure.  I’m wondering if there’s some utopian online gamer out there who knows anything about SocialCity?  There’s not much information about the game available, but here’s what I was able to find out:

  • SocialCity was developed by the social gaming developers Playdom—the same guys who brought you Mobsters.
  • According to AppData, who provide, according to their website, “Independent, Accurate Facebook Application Metrics and Trends from Inside Facebook,” the object of the game is to “Build and run your own virtual city. Create the perfect place for the people that call it home, and you’ll become the most loved and revered mayor of all time!”

I, for one, get really annoyed by all the gaming apps on facebook, and so don’t play them (though I did have a brief foray into Mobsters).  Nevertheless, there is some utopian energy going on here, and I thought I should bring it to Utopus readers’ attention.