113th Annual Conference - Portland, Oregon
Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8, 2015

Utopias Imagined and Attempted

Session Chair: 
Jennifer Atkinson, University of Washington, Bothell
Session 1: Friday 8:50-10:20am
Salon II (ET)


  1. Elizabeth Kubek, Gustavus Adolphus College
    While the TED web site is a powerful and pleasurable resource, analysis of the overall rhetoric of TED talks reveals conflict between utopian and dystopian images of technology's potential for plentitude and fulfillment.  The overall impression is that of both almost infinite possibility and an alarming loss of human agency.
  2. Christopher Sheehan, San Francisco State University
    This paper examines the way that the 2014 remake of Robocop constructs a utopian vision for American society while revealing the posthuman concerns of its namesake.Karel Čapeck's R.U.R. likewise presents a utopian vision; one that corresponds to the advancements enacted in mass-produced robots. I argue that the conflict between the robots' nature and the ideology guiding their intended use reflects the inherent fault in the foundation of a humanistic utopia on posthumanity.
  3. Russell Coldicutt, University of Sydney
    This paper considers the way in which the formal elements of a novel – specifically, Murakami Haruki’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – can be used to transform the cultural milieus from which it emerges. The form of Murakami’s novel, I will suggest, mobilizes a utopian impulse to discover more accommodating organizations of time.
  4. Danica Miller, University of Washington, Tacoma
    Focusing on the Proclamation, but with support from the Declaration of the Return of Indian Land, my paper will analyze why Alcatraz, with its innumerable systematic faults, became the utopian vision of the early stages of the Indian rights movement of the late sixties.  
Session Cancelled: