Raymond Williams was an enormously influential figure in late twentieth-century intellectual life as a novelist, playwright and critic, "the British Sartre", as The Times put it. He was a central inspiration for the early British New Left and a close intellectual supporter of Plaid Cymru. He is widely acknowledged as one of the "founding fathers" of cultural studies, who established "cultural materialism" as a new paradigm for work in both literary and cultural studies. There is a substantial secondary literature on Williams, which treats his life and work in each of these respects. But none of it makes much of his enduring contribution to utopian studies and science fiction studies. This volume brings together a complete collection of Williams's critical essays on science fiction and futurology, utopia, and dystopia, in literature, film, television, and politics, and with extracts from his two future novels, The Volunteers (1978) and The Fight for Manod (1979).
Both the collection as a whole and the individual readings are accompanied by introductory essays written by Andrew Milner.
The Editor: Andrew Milner is Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His previous publications include Postmodern Conditions (1990), Cultural Materialism (1993), Class (1999), Re-Imagining Cultural Studies (2002), Contemporary Cultural Theory (2002), Literature, Culture and Society (2005), Imagining the Future (2006) and Demanding the Impossible (2008).
Contents: Space Anthropology, Utopia, and Putropia. Left Culturalism: Science Fiction (1956) - William Morris (1958) - George Orwell (1958) - The Future Story as Social Formula Novel (1961) - Terror (1971) - Texts in their Contexts. Cultural Materialism: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1971) - The City and the Future (1973) - On Orwell: An Interview (1977) - On Morris: An Interview (1977) - Learning from Le Guin. (Anti-) Postmodernism: Utopia and Science Fiction (1978) - The Tenses of Imagination (1978) - Beyond Actually Existing Socialism (1980) - Resources for a Journey of Hope (1983) - Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1984 (1984) - The Future Novels: From The Volunteers (1978) - From The Fight for Manod (1979).