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Heritage Quay, Schwann Building, 9, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH

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Constructing the Future: An interdisciplinary Symposium on Utopia and Dystopia

Utopian and dystopian thinking often inform and influence our journey to what is just beyond the horizon. They are locations of thought and practice that are by their very nature contradictory, and yet they inevitably overlap and converge.

As modes of critique and enquiry, utopian and dystopian imaginaries guide us through uncertain times. They are pivotal markers of artistic expression and technological development, and central to our understanding of psychological function. In imagining our new worlds we consequently seek to reimagine our contemporary lives.

Perhaps most obviously associated with literature, and narrative more broadly, utopian and dystopian thinking are integral to many disciplines, from architecture to computing. This one-day interdisciplinary symposium will bring together a range of (inter)disciplinary perspectives in order to investigate how the concepts of both Utopia and Dystopia have shaped the past, structure the present, and determine the future.

We welcome contributions from a range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, English Studies, Art and Architecture, Music, Photography, Costume and Textiles, Sociology, Computing, Robotics, Genetic and Biological Sciences, and Film Studies.

Suggested Areas and Topics:

· Interdisciplinary practice and collaboration

· Science/Speculative fiction and fact

· The relationship between history and the future

· The local and the global

· Crossing media and forms

· Intersections: class, race/ethnicity, gender, age

· Spatial imaginaries

· Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

· Linguistic Futures

· Time and Space

· Trauma and futurity

· The eco imaginary

Please submit a 300-word abstract along with a 50-word biographical note to by 31st July 2019. Questions can be directed to Dr Allegra Hartley via or Dr Nic Stavris via

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Heritage Quay, Schwann Building, 9, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH

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