Mapping Dreams: British and North-American Utopianism

 

Description of the research group

The team was created in 2004 after the 5th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society / Europe held in Porto. This event brought together a concentration of Portuguese academics working in the field of Utopian Studies. After the conference, researchers from four Portuguese universities – Porto, New University of Lisbon, Coimbra and Aveiro – created the Mapping Dreams: British and North American Utopianism project.

From the outset, the team has networked with foreign research centres and academics affiliated to the universities of Bologna (Italy) and Limerick (Ireland). Further to this, it has developed collaborative work with the universities of Carlos III (Madrid), Lublin (Poland), Cyprus, Campinas (Brazil), Federal de Alagoas (Brazil) and the Central European University (Hungary). The team is also closely connected with the Utopian Studies Society / Europe, having hosted not only in Porto the 2004 international annual conference, but also that held in 2009. CETAPS will also host the 2016 international conference, meant to commemorate the 500 th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, in Lisbon

Over this period, the team has benefited from the work of young researchers who became involved in the group's activities when they were studying on MA courses and are now either holders of PhDs or are preparing their Doctoral dissertations . The energy and diversity of interests of this taskforce of young researchers have influenced the new research directions the team is currently taking. If, in the past, attention has been paid mainly to literary utopianism, the team is now investing in a systematic examination of the way utopianism has influenced, in recent decades, the construction of contemporary thought. The scope of the research has been broadened, and attention is now being paid to artistic areas where both utopian and dystopian thought predominates. Thus, the research corpus includes not only the texts that fall into the category of what we would call conventional literary utopianism (following the narrative structure defined by More), but also other literary forms, from graphic novels to hyperutopias (literary texts posted on the Internet), from film to theatre, from installations to the performing arts. A new line of research has also been created to study the intersection between Utopian Studies and Food Studies, and is now providing the theoretical framework for the research projects of some of the young researchers. As a result of this new interest, the team members are now involved in the organization of the annual conference of EurSafe – European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, to be held in Porto in September 2016.

The Mapping Dreams team has also created Spaces of Utopia: An Electronic Journal, published annually since 2004 by the Digital Library of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto. The editorial responsibility for the annual publication of the journal is undertaken alternately by the senior members of the team.

For several years, the team has also invested in high impact outreach activities, of which Eurotopia 2100 (from 2008 to 2010) and PAN-Utopia 2100 (from 2012 onwards) are key examples. Currently, the team is coordinating, along with the Utopian Studies Society, “Utopia 500: A Commemorative Programme of the 500 anniversary of the Publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. This programme has benefited from the work of a considerable number of ERASMUS + programme students that have been working / will work over 2016 at the University of Porto.

The team has also invested in the presentation of papers at international conferences all over the world. These further manifested as publications in peer-review journals such as Utopian Studies, Morus, Utopolis, Journal of the Seneca University, Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens, Études Britanniques Contemporaines, Femspec, Utopia and Utopianism, and volumes published in English with international distribution (Cambridge University Press, U.Porto Editorial, Praeger Publishers).

The team is also responsible for the creation of a Doctoral programme in Literary, Cultural and Interartistic Studies with a specialism in Utopian Studies at the University of Porto.

ACTIVITIES

2014

 

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2015

 

 

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2016

 

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2017

 

 

 

SEMINÁRIO DE INVESTIGAÇÃO

RESEARCH SEMINAR

2016/2017

 

  1. Unidade Curricular/Curricular Unit:
    a) Designação: Seminário de Investigação: Projeções do Futuro: Temas e Articulações Críticas no
    Imaginário Utópico e Distópico
    Name: Research Seminar: Projections of the Future: Themes and Critical Articulations of the
    Utopian and Dystopian Imaginary
    b) Número de vagas/Vacancies: [10]
  2. Código da unidade curricular/Curricular unit code: [Não Preencher]
  3. Faculdade/Faculty: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
  4. Unidade de Investigação/Research Unit: CETAPS (http://www.cetaps.com)
  5. Curso/Course: Opção livre aberta a todos os cursos de Doutoramento
  6. Nível do curso/Course Level: Doutoramento/PhD
  7. Carácter da unidade curricular: Opcional/Optional
  8. Tipo da unidade curricular/Type of curricular unit: Seminário de Investigação/Research Seminar
  9. Percentagem de aulas práticas/Percentage of practical classes: Não aplicável/Not applicable
  10. Ano do plano de estudos/Syllabus year: 1.º ano/1st year
  11. Semestre/Semester: 2.º semestre/2nd semester
  12. Número de créditos/Number of credits: 10 ECTS
  13. Docente ou Investigador responsável/Teacher or principal researcher: Teresa Botelho e Iolanda
    Ramos
  14. Número de horas por sessão/Number of hours per session: 2 hrs
    b) Número de sessões por semestre/Number of hours per semester: 14
    c) Periodicidade/Periodicity: Semanal
    d) Período de funcionamento/Class period: 13 de Fevereiro a 21 de Maio de 2017
  15. Objetivos da unidade curricular/Learning objectives (máx. 200 palavras; expostos em termos do
    que se espera que o aluno adquira):
    a) Ser capaz de definir e problematizar os conceitos de utopia e distopia, enquadrando-os
    historicamente;
    b) Identificar as temáticas investigadas pela imaginação utópica e distópica (justiça, género,
    ecologia, ciência e tecnologia e o futuro do humano);
    c) Demonstrar competência na análise crítica de textos teóricos, integrando-a no estudo do corpus
    literário selecionado;
    d) Examinar criticamente os cruzamentos dos textos selecionados com áreas das ciências humanas
    e com campos científicos e tecnológicos;
    e) Ser capaz de organizar um projeto de investigação avançada problematizante das áreas em
    estudo e de escrever e defender um trabalho de investigação inovador.
    a) Be able to define and problematize the concepts of utopia and dystopia, framing them
    historically;
    b) Identify the themes investigated by the utopian and dystopian imagination (justice, gender,
    ecology, science and technology and the future of the human);
    c) Demonstrate critical competence in the analysis of theoretical texts, integrating it in the study
    of the selected literary corpus;
    d) Examine critically the dialogues of the selected texts with areas of the human sciences and with
    scientific and technological fields;
    e) Be able to organize an advanced research project, problematizing the issues under study, and
    write and defend an innovative research essay.
  16. Competências gerais do grau/General skills of the degree: a); b); c); d) ;e); f)
  17. Competências específicas do curso/Specific Course skills: Não aplicável/Not applicable
  18. Requisitos de frequência/Attendance requirements: [Não aplicável / (especifique os pré-requisitos,
    e.g. nível de domínio de língua estrangeira, unidades curriculares específicas que o aluno
    deve ter completado, etc.)]
  19. Conteúdo da unidade curricular/Syllabus (máx. 200 palavras):
    I- Utopia, distopia, anti-utopia: definições conceptuais
    II- Paraísos mapeados e transfigurados: More e o seu legado
    III- A viragem distópica: ciência, autoritarismo e vigilância de Huxley a Orwell
    IV- Utopias críticas e ambiguidades ontológicas: The Dispossessed; The Giver
    V- Temas recorrentes na modernidade utópica e distópica
    5.1. Feminismo e o futuro do género (Herland; Left Hand of Darkness)
    5.2. Ecologia, e a imaginação apocalíptica (Ecotopia; Parable of the Sower)
    5.3. Passados reimaginados: história alternativa e steampunk (The Plot Against America; A Red Sun
    Also Rises)
    5.4. Utopias tecnológicas e futuros pós-humanos (He, She and It; Down and Out in the Magic
    Kingdom) I - Utopia, dystopia, anti-utopia: conceptual definitions; II - Mapped and transfigured paradises: More and his legacy; III - The Dystopian turn: science, authoritarianism and surveillance, from Huxley to Orwell; IV - Critical utopias and Onthological Ambiguities: The Dispossessed; The Giver; V - Recurrent themes in the utopian and dystopian modernity; 5.1. Feminism and the future of gender (Herland; Left Hand of Darkness); 5.2. Ecology and the apocalyptic imagination (Ecotopia; Parable of the Sower); 5.3. Reimagined pasts: alternate history and steampunk (The Plot Against America; A Red Sun Also
    Rises); 5.4. Techno-utopias and post-human futures ( He, She and It; Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom)
  20. Bibliografia recomendada/Recommended reading: (máx. 5 títulos. Por ordem decrescente de
    data de edição.) 1 - Botelho, Teresa/ Iolanda Ramos (ed.). Performing Identities and Utopias of Belonging. Newcastle:
    Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 2 - Levitas, Ruth. Utopia as Method: The Imaginary Reconstruction of Society. London: Palgrave McMillan, 2013. 3 - Vieira, Fátima. (ed.) Dystopia(n) Matters: On Page, On Screen, on Stage. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 4 - Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. 5 - Carey, John. The Faber Book of Utopias. London: Faber and Faber, 2000.
  21. Métodos de ensino/Teaching Methods: Exposições introdutórias sobre as principais
    problemáticas do programa, acompanhadas de trabalho de discussão dos textos selecionados.
    Orientação tutorial de acompanhamento do trabalho individual de investigação final.
    Introductory exposition of the main problematics of the syllabus, followed by discussion of the
    selected texts. Tutorial supervision of final individual research project.
  22. Métodos de avaliação/Assessment methods: Participação ativa no trabalho de seminário (30%)
    Ensaio sobre o projeto de investigação (escrita e apresentação oral) (70%)
    Active participation in the seminar discussions (30%)
    Research Project Essay (Written and orally presented) (70%)
  23. Língua de ensino/Teaching language: Inglês / Português
    English/ Portuguese