Online Workshop with Professor Darko Suvin

2-4pm, 4th and 5th April, 2023


Discussion Theme: Antiutopia as an Enforced Dominant Horizon of Mass Culture: Causes and Consequences for Personality and Utopianism


This workshop is open to anyone with an interest in the fate of utopianism in the twenty-first century. We will discuss the politics of antiutopianism, and the persuasiveness of antiutopian cultural genres.

The horizon of this workshop is an attempt to overcome some professional barriers. Thus it will have a general Cultural Studies stance, interacting with Political Epistemology and Utopian Studies (up to “apocalyptic writing” in C21).

Please register at Ticketsource for an online place here.

The ‘preparatory reading’ can be accessed via a link below (Word document) is not mandatory but might be useful for participants. If you have any problems accessing the reading, please contact Patricia at

Please click here for reading.

Tuesday 4th of April Wednesday 5th of April
Main Intro:

Darko Suvin on antiutopianism as mutation of capitalism and how to reconsider eutopia/dystopia in its light (30 min.)

Antiutopianism examined from various angles, in conjunction with Personality. It is the dominant narrative and ideology rendering radical Otherness unthinkable.

Main Intro:

Patricia McManus on Game of Thrones TV serial, Season 1, as exemplary antiutopian narrative at work (30 min.)

Questioning the popularity of Game of Thrones. To read its success as an index not of the resurgence of epic fantasy in the twenty-first century but as the triumph (momentary?) of an antiutopian understanding of power.

Preparatory Readings

Fredric Jameson, “Progress or Utopia: or Can we Imagine the Future?” in Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, Utopia and Anti-Utopia (Jul., 1982), pp. 147-158.

Two keywords from R. Williams: ‘Individual’ and ‘Personality,’ in Williams, Keywords.




Preparatory Readings

Gerry Canavan (2022) Morally Depraved Fantasy: ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘Rings of Power,’ in Art Review, 9th September, 2022. Accessible here:

René Schallegger’s ‘The Nightmares of Politicians

On the Rise of Fantasy Literature from Subcultural

to Mass-cultural Phenomenon,’ in Lars Schmeink

Astrid Böger (eds) (2012) Collision of Realities: Establishing Research on the Fantastic in Europe.