The 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia has directed attention toward the importance of utopianism. This book investigates the possibilities of cooperation between the humanities and the social sciences in the analysis of 20th century and contemporary utopian phenomena. The papers deal with major problems of interpreting utopias, the relationship of utopia and ideology, and the highly problematic issue as to whether utopia necessarily leads to dystopia. Besides reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary utopian investigations, the eleven essays effectively represent the constructive attitudes of utopian thought, a feature that not only defines late 20th- and 21st-century utopianism, but is one of the primary reasons behind the rising importance of the topic.
The volume’s originality and value lies not only in the innovative theoretical approaches proposed, but also in the practical application of the concept of utopia to a variety of phenomena which have been neglected in the utopian studies paradigm, especially to the rarely discussed Central European texts and ideologies.
Introduction – Utopianism: Literary and Political
PART ONE Utopia with a Political Focus
Ideology and Utopia: Karl Mannheim and Paul Ricoeur
Lyman Tower Sargent
When Does Utopianism Produce Dystopia?
From the Political Utopia to the Philosophical Utopia—and Rescuing the Political Utopia, on Second Thought
Third Way Utopianism: Anarcho-Democratic and Liberal Socialist Ideas in Central Europe
András Bozóki and Miklós Sükösd
George Orwell, Soviet Studies, and the “Soviet Subjectivity” Debate
PART TWO Utopia with a Literary Focus
Marxist Utopianism and Modern Irish Drama, 1884–1904: William Morris, W. B. Yeats, and G. B. Shaw
Civil Religion as Utopian Ideology: A Case Study of H. G. Wells
Negative Utopia in Central Europe: Kazohinia and the Dystopian Political Climate of the 1930s
What They Were Going to Do About It: Huxley’s Peace Pamphlet in Pre-War Hungary
The City in Ruins: Post-9/11 Representations of Cataclysmic New York on Film
Realism and Utopianism Reconsidered: A Political Theoretical Reading of A Song of Ice and Fire
Zoltán Gábor Szűcs