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Call for papers for the 43rd Annual Conference of the Society for Utopian Studies: “Disruption, Displacement, and Disorder”


Berkeley, California November 1-3, 2018


The Society for Utopian Studies invites you to submit papers and proposals on the theme, “Disruption, Displacement, and Disorder.” As an interdisciplinary society from its founding, we encourage scholars and practitioners from any academic field to contribute, as well as architects, city planners, artists, musicians whose work relates to utopian thought and possibility, and dystopian realities and visions. Members of intentional communities are also welcome to attend and/or present. Non-theme related papers are welcome.
Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area have long been known as the home of disruption, displacement, and disorder in a variety of forms: social protest movements, technological innovation, creative destruction, free speech, and alternative lifestyles to name but a few. The history of the Bay Area provides a wide variety of possible approaches and topics related to utopian and dystopian thought, and we particularly invite papers related to any aspect of the following:

  • Utopian Political Movements and Radicalism: the history of utopian social, cultural and political movements including peace, anti-war, protest movements, and legal theories
  • Literary Utopian Thought and Communities: including the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance, among others.
  • Free Speech and Freedom of Expression: in California, epitomized by the free speech movement at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State, and other more recent examples.
  • Intentional Communities and Communes: including the formation, displacement, or social organization of these groups.
  • Silicon Valley and the Tech Community: the effects of technological innovation and creative destruction
  • Gentrification and the Future of Urban Living: including architecture, design, and human geography.
  • Green Movements and Environmentalism: green building, zoning policy.
  • Immigration, Race, and the City: sanctuary cities, border walls, and ICE raids.
  • Hollywood, Music, and Entertainment: the #metoo movement, music and utopia, trends in dystopian film.
  • California Utopian and S/F Writers: Ursula Le Guin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Phillip K. Dick


Deadline: July 15, 2018. Send abstracts and proposals of up to 250 words for the following:

  • A 15-20 minute individual paper
  • A full panel of up to four speakers, or an informal roundtable of 3-6 presenters
  • A presentation or performance of a creative work or artifact
  • A visual/audio presentation in the form of a poster and/or demo

Submit your proposal following the web application.

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