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17th Conference of the Utopian Studies Society / Europe: 500 years of utopias: Commemorating the 500

Published in 1516, Thomas More’s Utopia not only opened up the way for the development of a new literary tradition, but also a new way of thinking about the future, founded on the consideration of alternative solutions to reality through imagination.

Utopian thinking is in fact an attribute of modern thought. Although its background was formed from the merger of Classic and Christian myths and beliefs, it added to them a confidence in the human beings’ capacity to command their own life and to take on an active role in society. Over the centuries, utopian thinking has been the driving force for political and social change, as well as an inspiration for innovation in science and technology.

The 2016 USS Conference is dedicated to exploring More’s intellectual legacy of utopian theory and practice across various academic disciplines – Literature, Philosophy, Sociology, History, Politics, Architecture, Fine Arts, Ecology, Anthropology, Law…. –, but also in their productive intersection with other fields of study – Science Fiction Studies, Gender Studies, Identity Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies, Film Studies, Music Studies and Food Studies, just to state the most obvious examples. The Conference will also focus on utopian derivations, such as anti-utopias, dystopias and hyperutopias.

The Conference welcomes proposals relating to any aspect of the utopian tradition and from scholars of all fields of research. However, the organising committee hopes to be able to set up a number of panels focusing on the following topics:

. Thomas More’s Utopia: Readings & Rewritings

. Utopian thought: the Classic and Christian Backgrounds

. Utopias in History

. Contemporary Utopianism: Theory & Practice

. Contemporary Literature: Dystopia & Science Fiction

. Utopian Thought & the Construction of Europe

. Utopian Thought & Non-Western Cultures

. Utopia & Sustainable Development

. Utopia & Scientific Advances

. Utopia / Dystopia & Film"

. Utopia & Food

. Utopia & Architecture

. Utopia & the Arts

Proposals for papers are welcome in one of the following formats:

. 20-minute paper – please submit a 250 word abstract

. 10-minute position paper – please submit a 250 word abstract

. Research poster – please submit a 250 word abstract

. Closed panel of 3 or 4 papers by named contributors and chair – please submit a proposal with 1) the outline of the panel theme; 2) the authors and abstracts of the papers 3) the name of the chair

We are open to alternative methods of presentation, as well as the organisation of workshops – please contact the Organising Committee for more detail.

Individual papers are to be presented in English, which will be the official language of the conference. Posters and closed panels may be presented in any major European language. Proposals for posters and closed panels in languages other than English should be sent along with an English version that will be published in the Book of Abstracts.

Closing date for proposals: 12th March 2016.

Please send all proposals and correspondence to

For more details:

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