Call for Papers

Call for Papers has now closed

Conference Themes

The organisers of the last year’s conference noted that our time ‘is a turning point for Utopian Studies.’ In agreement, the organisers of this year’s conference wish to explore what our time is made of: our aim is to turn the concept of utopia, its long history and the contestations which make that history, to the present.

To help thematise this, the conference organisers have focused on ‘hope’ as a key contested concept, one which can act as a focaliser for the conference’s exploration of the situation of utopia in the twenty-first century.

The Organising Committee encourages individuals and research groups to curate their own panel proposals as a way of giving topics, problems and questions the significant scope they deserve. We also welcome individual abstracts which we hope to build into a number of thematic panels to facilitate delegates’ navigation of the conference. Potential topics for either panels or individuals include (but are not limited to):

  • Hope in or as solidarity work Neoliberal forms of hope
  • Does hope need to be decolonised?
  • Indigenous hope Queer forms of hope
  • Global ecocide and catastrophic hope Hope, post-individualism, and communism
  • Culture is not Enough: hope in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fictions Methodological questions and hope, or the affordances and limits of hope as a concept The politics of hope?
  • Utopian hope versus privatised hope What happens to hope in dystopia? Critical hope
  • Pessimistic hope
  • Radical and revolutionary hope Hope and the university

Abstract Panels

The Call for Papers has now closed, we are now working our way through the fantastic submissions and we will be in contact to confirm the accepted abstracts . For more information please contact us at

USS Code of Conduct for Panels

Our code of conduct and some rules for panel organising and chairing:

  • Chairs should ensure that all papers keep strictly to time — usually 20 mins.— to ensure fairness and to allow discussion.
  • It is advisable that chairs introduce all the speakers at the beginning of the session (briefly, for time reasons: name, affiliation, title of the paper).
  • Discussion should be oriented around questions rather than lengthy statements from the floor. If the latter occur, chairs can intervene to ask what the question is.
  • Across each conference, there should normally be gender parity in the selection of chairs for sessions. Organisers are encouraged to use nominated chairs rather than appointing the first speaker in a session as the chair.
  • Where possible, questions should be taken equally from both women and men. Chairs should exercise gender balance.
  • Chairs should intervene in the event that questioning is personally hostile or otherwise in breach of academic propriety. Sexism, racism, bullying, sexual harassment* or other forms of discrimination must not be tolerated.
  • Chairs should ensure that each speaker is asked at least one question, and should be encouraged to pose a question themselves, in case no one in the audience has one.

* The EU defines sexual harassment as taking place when “any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”.