Author: Christopher S. Ferns
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Utopian societies exhibit a variety of ways of organizing the financial, political and emotional relationships between people. For all this diversity, however, one thing that exhibits far less variation is the story, the framing narrative that accounts for how the narrator reaches the more perfect society and obtains the opportunity to witness its distinctive excellences. Narrating Utopia is about that story, the curious hybrid of the traveler’s tale and the classical dialogue that emerges in the Renaissance, but whose outlines remain clearly apparent even in some of the most recent utopian writing. "... a well-written and worthy addition to the filed of utopian studies."—SFRA Review
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
Author: George Orwell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life with extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity. “Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be. Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.
Divining a Digital Future
Author: Paul Dourish, Genevieve Bell
Publisher: MIT Press
Ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp) is the label for a "third wave" of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and "smart" domestic appliances. In Divining a Digital Future, computer scientist Paul Dourish and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices that have emerged--both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience.Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors' collaboration, the book takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically. Dourish and Bell map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubicomp around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations.
Author: Tereza Kuldova, Mathew A. Varghese
This book brings anthropologists and critical theorists together in order to investigate utopian visions of the future in the neoliberal cities of India and Sri Lanka. Arguing for the priority of materiality in any analysis of contemporary ideology, the authors explore urban construction projects, special economic zones, fashion ramps, films, archaeological excavations, and various queer spaces. In the process, they reveal how diverse co-existing utopian visions are entangled with local politics and global capital, and show how these utopian visions are at once driven by visions of excess and by increasing expulsions. It’s a dystopia already in the making – one marred by land grabs and forced evictions, rising inequality, and the loss of urbanity and civility.
In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the nineteenth century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the nineteenth century, as seen in specialized engineering journals and popular media. Marvin pays particular attention to the telephone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary ways of dividing the private person and family from the more public setting of the community. On the lighter side, she describes how people spoke louder when calling long distance, and how they worried about catching contagious diseases over the phone. A particularly powerful chapter deals with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting--the "Telephone Herald" in New York and the "Telefon Hirmondo" of Hungary--and the conflict between the technological development of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon culture on the public. While focusing on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social impact, presenting a wide-ranging, informative, and entertaining account of the early years of electronic media.
Dystopian narrative is a product of the social ferment of the twentieth century. A hundred years of war, famine, disease, state terror, genocide, ecocide, and the depletion of humanity through the buying and selling of everyday life provided fertile ground for this fictive underside of the utopian imagination. From the classical works by E. M. Forster, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Margaret Atwood, through the new maps of hell in postwar science fiction, and most recently in the dystopian turn of the 1980s and 1990s, this narrative machine has produced challenging cognitive maps of the given historical situation by way of imaginary societies which are even worse than those that lie outside their authors' and readers' doors.In Scraps of the Untainted Sky , Tom Moylan offers a thorough investigation of the history and aesthetics of dystopia. To situate his study, Moylan sets out the methodological paradigm that developed within the interdisciplinary fields of science fiction studies and utopian studies as they grow out of the oppositional political culture of the 1960 and 1970s (the context that produced the project of cultural studies itself). He then presents a thorough account of the textual structure and formal operations of the dystopian text. From there, he focuses on the new science-fictional dystopias that emerged in the context of the economic, political, and cultural convulsions of the 1980s and 1990s, and he examines in detail three of these new "critical dystopias:" Kim Stanley Robinson's The Gold Coast, Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower , and Marge Piercy's He, She, and It .With its detailed, documented, and yet accessible presentation, Scraps of the Untainted Sky will be of interest to established scholars as well as students and general readers who are seeking an in-depth introduction to this important area of cultural production.
Author: E. Ann Kaplan
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Each month brings new scientific findings that demonstrate the ways in which human activities, from resource extraction to carbon emissions, are doing unprecedented, perhaps irreparable damage to our world. As we hear these climate change reports and their predictions for the future of Earth, many of us feel a sickening sense of déjà vu, as though we have already seen the sad outcome to this story. Drawing from recent scholarship that analyzes climate change as a form of “slow violence” that humans are inflicting on the environment, Climate Trauma theorizes that such violence is accompanied by its own psychological condition, what its author terms “Pretraumatic Stress Disorder.” Examining a variety of films that imagine a dystopian future, renowned media scholar E. Ann Kaplan considers how the increasing ubiquity of these works has exacerbated our sense of impending dread. But she also explores ways these films might help us productively engage with our anxieties, giving us a seemingly prophetic glimpse of the terrifying future selves we might still work to avoid becoming. Examining dystopian classics like Soylent Green alongside more recent examples like The Book of Eli, Climate Trauma also stretches the limits of the genre to include features such as Blindness, The Happening, Take Shelter, and a number of documentaries on climate change. These eclectic texts allow Kaplan to outline the typical blind-spots of the genre, which rarely depicts climate catastrophe from the vantage point of women or minorities. Lucidly synthesizing cutting-edge research in media studies, psychoanalytic theory, and environmental science, Climate Trauma provides us with the tools we need to extract something useful from our nightmares of a catastrophic future.
In Search of Utopia
Author: Jan Van der Stock
2016 marks exactly 500 years since the English humanist and statesman Thomas More published in the city Leuven his world-famous book Utopia. Leuven is celebrating this milestone with a major city festival featuring exhibitions, street art, film, music, theatre, dance, literature, lectures and city walks. The cornerstone is the international, art historical exhibition 'In Search of Utopia' at M - Museum Leuven. The festival will officially start on Monday, 26 September 2016 after a festive opening weekend on 24 and 25 September and will end on 17 January 2017. In the book 'In Search of Utopia? the reader is introduced to the world of More and his friends, with the ideals and dreams of the times. The desire of far-away horizons and the cobweb of new sciences that patiently layed upon the reality. Magnificent works of the 15th- and 16th Century artists: Quinten Metsijs, Hans Holbein, Jan Gossaert en Albrecht Dürer are being brought together in this exciting and intriguing story. It shows in an unexceeded way the imagination of an ideal world.
Author: Esther Leslie
Publisher: Reaktion Books
This revealing study considers the remarkable alliance between chemistry and art from the late eighteenth century to the period immediately following the Second World War. Synthetic Worlds offers fascinating new insights into the place of the material object and the significance of the natural, the organic, and the inorganic in Western aesthetics. Esther Leslie considers how radical innovations in chemistry confounded earlier alchemical and Romantic philosophies of science and nature while profoundly influencing the theories that developed in their wake. She also explores how advances in chemical engineering provided visual artists with new colors, surfaces, coatings, and textures, thus dramatically recasting the way painters approached their work. Ranging from Goethe to Hegel, Blake to the Bauhaus, Synthetic Worlds ultimately considers the astonishing affinities between chemistry and aesthetics more generally. As in science, progress in the arts is always assured, because the impulse to discover is as immutable and timeless as the drive to create.
Utopian thought, though commonly characterized as projecting a future without a past, depends on golden models for re-invention of what is. Through a detailed and innovative re-assessment of the work of three architects who sought to represent a utopian content in their work, and a consideration of the thoughts of a range of leading writers, Coleman offers the reader a unique perspective of idealism in architectural design. With unparalleled depth and focus of vision on the work of Le Corbusier, Louis I Kahn and Aldo van Eyck, this book persuasively challenges predominant assumptions in current architectural discourse, forging a new approach to the invention of welcoming built environments and transcending the limitations of both the postmodern and hyper-modern stance and orthodox modernist architecture.
Author: Amy Bingaman, Lise Sanders, Rebecca Zorach
Utopia has become a dirty word in recent scholarship on modernism, architecture, urban planning and gender studies. Many utopian designs now appear impractical, manifesting an arrogant disregard for the lived experiences of the ordinary inhabitants who make daily use of global public and private spaces. The essays in Embodied Utopias argue that the gendered body is the crux of the hopes and disappointments of modern urban and suburban utopias of the Americas, Europe and Asia. They reassess utopian projects - masculinist, feminist, colonialist, progressive - of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; they survey the dystopian landscapes of the present; and they gesture at the potential for an embodied approach to the urban future, to the changing spaces of cities and virtual landscapes.
Contemporary Anarchist Studies
Author: Randall Amster, Abraham DeLeon, Luis Fernandez, Anthony J. Nocella, II, Deric Shannon
This volume of collected essays by some of the most prominent academics studying anarchism bridges the gap between anarchist activism on the streets and anarchist theory in the academy. Focusing on anarchist theory, pedagogy, methodologies, praxis, and the future, this edition will strike a chord for anyone interested in radical social change. This interdisciplinary work highlights connections between anarchism and other perspectives such as feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, disability studies, post-modernism and post-structuralism, animal liberation, and environmental justice. Featuring original articles, this volume brings together a wide variety of anarchist voices whilst stressing anarchism's tradition of dissent. This book is a must buy for the critical teacher, student, and activist interested in the state of the art of anarchism studies.
Businesses are rushing to collect personal data to fuel surging demand. Data enthusiasts claim personal information that's obtained from the commercial internet, including mobile platforms, social networks, cloud computing, and connected devices, will unlock path-breaking innovation, including advanced data security. By contrast, regulators and activists contend that corporate data practices too often disempower consumers by creating privacy harms and related problems. As the Internet of Things matures and facial recognition, predictive analytics, big data, and wearable tracking grow in power, scale, and scope, a controversial ecosystem will exacerbate the acrimony over commercial data capture and analysis. The only productive way forward is to get a grip on the key problems right now and change the conversation. That's exactly what Jules Polonetsky, Omer Tene, and Evan Selinger do. They bring together diverse views from leading academics, business leaders, and policymakers to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the new data economy.
Among the Hidden
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix. Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend. Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside. Then, one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows -- does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?