This book testifies to the growing interest in the many spaces of utopia. It intends to `map out' on utopian and science-fiction discourses some of the new and revisionist models of spatial analysis applied in Literary and Cultural Studies in recent years. The aim of the volume is to side-step the established generic binary of utopia and dystopia or science fiction and thus to open the analysis of utopian literature to new lines of inquiry. The essays collected here propose to think of utopias not so much as fictional texts about future change and transformation but as vital elements in a cultural process through which social, spatial and subjective identities are formed. Utopias can thus be read as textual systems implying a distinct spatial and temporal dimension; as `spatial practices' that tend to naturalize a cultural and social construction - that of the `good life', the radically improved welfare state, the Christian paradise, the counter-society, etc. - and make that representation operational by interpellating their readers in some determinate relation to their givenness as sites of political and individual improvement.
This volume is of interest for all scholars and students of literature who wish to explore the ways in which utopias of the past and recent present have circulated as media of cultural exchange and homogenization, as sites of cultural and linguistic appropriation and as foci for the spatial formation of national and regional identities in the English-speaking world.
Acknowledgements Notes on Contributors Ralph Pordzik: Introduction: The Overlaid Spaces of Utopia Chapter I: Constructing Borders, Defining Limits: The Ideal Space of Utopia Revisited Gabriela Schmidt: The Translation of Paradise: Thomas More's Utopia and the Poetics of Cultural Exchange Hans Ulrich Seeber: Utopia, Nation-Building, and the Dissolution of the Nation-State Around 1900 Richard Nate: Discoveries of the Future: Herbert G. Wells and the Eugenic Utopia Ralph Pordzik: Persistence of Obedience: Theological Space and Ritual Conversion in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four Chapter II: Homely Spaces, Intimate Borders - Utopias to Live in Nicole Pohl: `And is not every Manor a Little Common Wealth?' Nostalgia, Utopia and the Country House Christoph Ehland: The Watchdogs of Eden: Chesterton and Buchan Look at the Present of the Future Elizabeth Leane: The Land that Time Forgot: Fictions of Antarctic Temporality Dunja M. Mohr: "The Tower of Babble"? The Role and Function of Fictive Languages in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction Chapter III: Worlds Beyond Worlds - The Limits of Geographical and Perceptual Space Martina Mittag: Rethinking Deterritorialization: Utopian and Apocalyptic Space in Recent American Fiction Doreen Hartmann: Space Construction as Cultural Practice: Reading William Gibson's Neuromancer with Respect to Postmodern Concepts of Space Saskia Schabio: Peripheral Cosmopolitans: Caribbeanness as Transnational Utopia? Antonis Balasopoulos: "Utopian and Cynical Elements": Chaplin, Cinema, and Weimar Critical Theory Index