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Call for Papers: Utopia

Call for Papers for the Third Issue
Appel à contribution : utopie

Anthropology & Materialism. A Journal of Social Research, an international and multidisciplinary journal dedicated to critical thinking announces a call for papers for its third issue on utopia to be published in 2015.

Utopia has many faces. Originally a literary genre created by Thomas More, it is also a tradition of political thinking, a philosophical concept and a way to characterise techno-scientific narratives (cyber-utopias, transhumanism, etc.) or social experiments (1960s back-to-the-landers, “ cité radieuse” by Le Corbusier, etc.). Cut-off worlds, paradise lost, millenial futures, underground societies: these different figures of utopia display its many significations and question its relationship to history. Is utopia the nostalgia of a golden age, the longing for a perfect society or the description of a fictional nowhere?

Surely, utopia leaves few people indifferent. It can be praised but also harshly criticised. In the philosophical scene, utopia has been accused of being a fundamentally unrealistic and potentially totalitarian way of thinking (Jonas). On the other hand, it has been described as a means to explore possibilities that would otherwise remain unseen (Jameson, Ricoeur) and it has been an important conceptual tool to rejuvenate Marxism (Bloch, Benjamin, Abensour). Political controversies are often tied to philosophical debates. Dismissed by self-proclaimed “scientific” Marxists and by conservatives, utopia has its zealots among libertarian socialists (Fourier, Leroux, Cabet, Landauer) and libertarian liberals (Nozick).

In line with the multidisciplinary scope of the journal, this issue aims to publish fresh theoretical approaches of utopia, but also sociological, anthropological, political and aesthetical works focusing on specific utopias. The following questions may be addressed by the contributors: in which ways is utopia linked to myth, ideology and phantasmagoria? Is the relationship between utopia and dystopia only one of opposition? Is it possible to talk about utopia(s) without taking a stand in the debate, and perhaps (nearly) becoming a utopian thinker? What are the political uses of utopia in breaking with doxa and dominant ideology, mobilising the desires of the masses, and elaborating alternative political projects? In what sense is it possible to talk about literary, artistic of architectural utopias today? Which current social experiments, local or global, can adequately be characterised as utopian? How should we consider technological or scientific utopias that may, paradoxically, threaten the possibility for our societies to control their future?

Those interested in publishing in the third issue of the Journal should send a 3000 characters (or 500 words) abstract to anthropologicalmaterialism@gmail.com before 31/01/2015. The articles will have to be delivered before 31/05/2015 to be then peer-reviewed.

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