Utopias are both political speculations and examples of a literary genre; their socio-political 'recommendations' are also frequently embedded in multi-layered printed publications in which arms-length narration, topical jokes and fairly systematic irony create extreme interpretative problems. They are notoriously apt (for example in their attitudes to gender) to lay bare culturally-specific limits to what a given thinker can imagine. This University of Reading workshop on Saturday July 11 2009 is aimed at historians and literary critics as well as political theorists. It will consider examples of the Anglophone utopian tradition from Robynson's translation of More's Utopia (1551), to Morris's News from Nowhere (1890), looking at utopian themes and contexts, before a round table and group discussion of the political issues that they raise. Speakers include Greg Claeys, Alan Cromartie, Colin Davis, Simon Dentith, and Richard Serjeantson.
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