Utopian Studies Society

CFP: conference, Plymouth, July 2007
8th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society
University of Plymouth, UK, July 12-14, 2007.

The 8th international conference of the Utopian Studies Society will be held at the University of Plymouth, July 12th to 14th , 2007. The conference will examine a range of topics related to utopia and utopianisms, its historical articulation and contemporary realisation. Keynote speakers are Dr Esther Leslie (Birkbeck) and Lalit Kishor Bhati (Auroville, India).

The Utopian Studies Society is an interdisciplinary society that aims to co-ordinate and encourage the diverse work currently taking place on the subject of utopianism. Members include people researching literature, philosophy, sociology, history, architecture, politics and anthropology. The Society was established in 1988 by a group of British scholars, following an international conference on utopianism at New Lanark. ([url]http://www.utopianstudieseurope.org[/url]).

The University of Plymouth ([url]http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/[/url]) hosts the Critical Spaces Research Group in the Faculty of Arts; and features Utopian Studies as a pathway in its Masters in Research programme (from October 2007). Critical Spaces is convening a 1-day pre-conference workshop on July 12th (10am to 4pm) on culture, agency and social change, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the Dynamics of Creativity programme. Subject to space, this workshop is open to registered conference participants at no additional cost (priority for research students).

The campus is near the city centre, a few minutes from the railway station. Plymouth is close to coasts and moors of outstanding natural beauty in Devon and Cornwall. The nearest international airports are Exeter and Bristol. Trains run hourly to Plymouth from London, Birmingham, and Bristol, with other services to Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. From London Heathrow airport there is a rail bus link to Reading for the main line to the south west.

The conference will open with a plenary session at 6pm on Thursday 12th, July, followed by a reception. There will be two full days of parallel sessions on July 13th and 14th, and a closing plenary and reception in the evening of Saturday 14th, July. A pre-conference workshop on cultural agency for social transformation will be held on 12th July (11am -4pm) open to participants registered for the conference at no additional cost, subject to space (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the Dynamics of Creativity programme). A detailed programme will be available in May, 2007.

Fee and Bursaries
The registration fee will be £85, to include teas, coffees, buffet lunches and two evening buffet receptions, but not accommodation or evening meals. Details of hotels and student roomswill be available nearer the date. The Utopian Studies Society has some limited funds available to assist post-graduates with the expenses of attending the Society’s annual conference. If your paper has been accepted, and you would like more details or an application form, please contact the USS Secretary, [mailto]Lorna.Davidson@newlanark.org[/mailto].

Call for Papers
Proposals are invited for papers and strands on the following broad themes and other areas of utopian studies:
  • Histories of Utopia
  • Theories of Utopia
  • Politics of Utopia
  • Utopia and Literature
  • Arts of Utopia
  • Contemporary Utopias, Eco-villages and Intentional Communities
  • Aesthetics of Utopia
  • Landscapes of Utopia
  • Utopian architectures
  • Environmental Utopias
Proposals may be for individual papers of 20 minutes, which if accepted will be grouped with others of relevant interest as far as practicality allows; or for strands of 3, 4, 6 or 8 papers with a nominated chair and respondent.

Abstracts should be 250 words (max.), submitted by e-mail as file attachments in Word (only) to [mailto]mfmiles@plymouth.ac.uk[/mailto], and should include (in this order): name and affiliation, e-mail address, title of paper, abstract, 3 keywords if possible on one side of A4 in a typeface no smaller than 10.

Abstracts will be refereed by two members of a steering group constituted by the organisers and committee of the Utopian Studies Society. The aim is to be inclusive.
Deadline for abstracts: Thursday 1st March, 2007.
Responses by 5th April, 2007
Deadline for registration at standard fee: May 28th 2007 [late registrations will be accepted up to 7 days prior to the conference at additional cost up to £25]
Arrangements for registration will be announced in due course. Payment will be by credit card. The fee includes a payment of £10 per person to the Utopian Studies Society.

The conference language is English. While resources do not exist for simultaneous translation, proposals for strands of 3 or 4 papers in French or German, or other major European languages,with a commitment all presenters in such proposed sessions will register for the conference, are very welcome. These sessions will take place in these languages. Abstracts for these sessions should be sent in both the original language and English.

Inquiries on academic matters to:
Inquiries on logistics and other practical matters to: