CFP: Society for Utopian Studies Conference, Archiving Utopia – Utopia as Archive, Deadline June 1, 2011

I saw the following call for papers for the annual Society for Utopian Studies conference on the H-Utopia email list this morning. It looks like Sonja Fritzsche, who wrote a very good book on Science Fiction in East Germany that I reviewed in The German Quarterly and wrote about here, is the conference’s programming director. I have an idea for a paper for this year’s conference, so I may see you there in October. Read below for the full cfp and details on submitting paper abstracts.


Archiving Utopia – Utopia as Archive

The Nittany Lion Inn on the Penn State Campus
State College, Pennsylvania
October 20-23, 2011

The 2011 Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference celebrates the
ongoing evolution of one of the world’s largest-and best–collections of
utopian materials in the world. The Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection is
housed in Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State’s Paterno
Library. The Society’s own archive resides here, as do thousands of titles,
primarily in British and American utopian literature, published from 1516 up
to today. In addition to the usual stimulating schedule of papers, this
conference will feature an exhibit highlighting some of the collection’s
most valuable treasures. Participants will have the opportunity to acquaint
themselves with the many research opportunities here.

The conference will not only highlight the breadth and depth of the Lewis
Collection, but also the importance of the archive as broader theme within
Utopian Studies. This refers not only to actual physical spaces, but also
the significance of the archive in utopian literature, archival practices in
utopian movements, and the archive as utopian space itself.  We ask for
papers, panels, presentations and performances on the cultural, political,
social, architectural, and managerial aspects of the archive as utopian
space.   We also welcome papers on other aspects of the utopian tradition –
from the earliest utopian visions to the utopian speculations and yearnings
of the 21st century, including art, architecture, urban and rural planning,
literary utopias, dystopian writings, utopian political activism, theories
of utopian spaces and ontologies, music, new media, or intentional

Finally, in advance of a special issue of Utopian Studies on the theme of
“utopia and education,” we also highly encourage papers on any aspect of
that topic: utopian pedagogies (in utopian fictions or in actual practice),
utopia as an educational process; education as a utopian process; the
university as (intentional) community; geographies of utopian education.

*       *       *

State College, Pennsylvania is home to Penn State University’s main campus,
with around 45,000 students. In addition to Penn State’s beautiful
University Park campus, surrounded by farms and mountains, the town itself
offers restaurants and shops. The University Park airport, serviced by
Delta, United and US Air, is only 10 minutes from the conference hotel.
State College is located between 3 and 5 hours by car from New York,
Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Please send a 100-250 word abstract by June 1, 2011 to:

Sonja Fritzsche
Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Illinois Wesleyan University
201 E University Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61702

Or e-mail submissions to:  sfritzsc at (please put “sus submission” in
the subject line).  As you submit your abstract, please indicate if you have
any scheduling restrictions, audiovisual needs (overhead projector; digital
projector; PC/Mac laptop, speakers, DVD/VHS player), special needs, or a
need for a written letter of acceptance of your proposal. Note: All specific
audiovisual requests must be included in the original abstract submission.
Late requests cannot be fulfilled due to conference organizational

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact
the Conference Coordinator, Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor at jaw55 at, or
phone 814-867-0367.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.