Utopia and Ideology: the Interaction of Political and Utopian Thought

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Gellner Room
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 9:30am
Add to Calendar
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 9:30am to 4:30pm

Utopian studies is becoming more and more consciously interdisciplinary. Our workshop will combine the efforts of literary studies and political science in analyzing utopias and dystopias, in investigating the interaction of political and utopian thought.


Emphasis will be placed on 20th and 21st century phenomena, and major issues of general importance, such as the relationship of utopia and its negative counterpart will be addressed, alongside with problems concerning the individual and the collective. Not only classical writings, but popular fiction, movies and on-line phenomena will be analyzed. Besides literary aspects of utopias and dystopias, the utopian aspects of political discourse will be an object of scrutiny. The perspective that integrates literary hermeneutics with ideas and methods from political science should result in a more thorough understanding of utopian writing and its effect on political thought.



9:30 - 11:00 Session I/Chair: András Bozóki

9:30 Opening remarks by Éva Fodor

9:40 Gregory Claeys: Does Utopia Necessarily Lead to Dystopia

10:35 Károly Pintér: Journeys in Utopia and Dystopia: H. G. Wells' Experiments with Social Prophecy

11:00 Coffee break


11:30 – 12:30 Session II/Chair: Fátima Vieira

11:30 Zsolt Czigányik: Szathmári and the Dystopian Political Climate of the 1930s

12:00 András Bozóki: Third-way Utopianism


12:30 Lunch break


13:30 – 14:30 Session III/Chair: Gregory Claeys

13:30 Gábor Zoltán Szűcs: What We can Learn about Political Realism from G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire: A Social Constructionist Approach

14:00 Vera Benczik: The City in Ruins: Post-9/11 Representations of Cataclysmic New York on Film


14:30 Coffee break


 14:45 - 16:30 Session IV/Chair: Zsolt Czigányik

14:45 Ákos Farkas: Peace or Appeasement: Aldous Huxley’s Utopian Vision in Eastern Europe

15:15 Fátima Vieira: Contemporary Political and Philosophical Utopias and Dystopias: from the Book to the Internet

16:00 Closing remarks, roundtable