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


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 ( by March 15, 2017.

CFP: 42nd Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies


“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,

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor at; 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 Those looking for co-panelists are reminded that 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


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