Australian Research Network for Utopian Studies

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Call for Expressions of Interest

The Australian Research Network for Utopian Studies is an emerging project launched by researchers of the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.

It aims to gather scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds willing to examine “utopia production”, broadly understood as the social processes through which cultural productions depicting alternative models of society, emancipatory projects or political ideals are generated, and its relation to transformative social change throughout history. This includes a wide range of questions such as:

  • How are innovative ideals produced, designed and communicated in various contexts?
  • How do utopian ideals and the narratives that shape, and are shaped by, them impact everyday discourses at moments of political, economic, environmental or health crisis?
  • What forms are used to put them in shape – i.e. novels, poems, travel narratives, political treatises, films, etc. – and what is the relation between their content and their form?
  • Through what social processes are ideals converted into practices and the converse?
  • What are the practical and theoretical relations between idealization and social change?

The network will draw together Australian scholars working disparately on these questions with several initiatives, including a monthly online seminar starting in June 2020, featuring presentations of domestic and international scholars, and a collective book project showcasing the diversity of research conducted in this area.

Organisation team: Baptiste Brossard and Mikayla Novak (ANU School of Sociology); Alexander Cook, Rhianne Grieve and Thomas Lalevée (ANU School of History); Christie Margrave and Kate Mitchell (ANU School of School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics); and Simon Theobald (ANU School of Archeology and Anthropology).

If you are interested in this initiative, please send an email to Baptiste Brossard, Explain briefly how your work fits with the topic, and whether you wish to:

      a) join the network to stay informed about our activities and/or

      b) participate in the seminar and/or

      c) present your research in the seminar in the next six months.

Updated:  29 July 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications