You won’t want to miss “Utopia: Whither the Future? ” An ICLS graduate student conference w/ keynote by Michael Hardt ! Sept 22-23 !

Graduate Student Conference

Institute for Comparative Literature and Society Graduate Conference
Columbia University, New York

September 22nd & 23rd, 2016


With keynote speaker Michael Hardt, Duke University Professor and Director of the Marxism & Society Certificate Program and Bass Fellow


What are the stakes of utopia today? How can we understand utopia in history, whether in theory or practice? Are utopias possible, or even desirable? This year’s Columbia ICLS Graduate Conference will confront some of the challenges posed by various utopian visions and projects: we want to emphasize the value of comparative perspectives in thinking about utopias, whether across historical periods, societies and imaginaries, or from different academic angles.


Thursday September 22nd

Wood auditorium Avery Hall

6:00 pm

Keynote Lecture

“The Abolition of Private Property as Utopian Demand”


Michael Hardt

Duke University Professor and Director of the Marxism & Society Certificate Program and Bass Fellow

Friday September 23rd

Deutsches Haus, 1130 Amsterdam Ave

9:00 am – 11:00 am

Panel 1 – Image, Vision, Projection, Space

The Space of No-Place: Thomas More’s Utopia and the History City Planning

Peter Janos Galambos (New School for Social Research)


Imaginary Optics & Dissatisfied Signals: The Materiality of the Unattainable

Scott W. Schwartz (City University of New York)


Natalia Goncharova’s “Everythingism”: a Utopia of National and Aesthetic Inclusiveness

Francesca Ferrari (University of Pennsylvania)


Discussant: Reinhold Martin (Professor, Columbia University)


11:15 am-1:15 pm

pm Panel 2 – Transgressing Borders


Zoos, Animal Outlaws and Ideal Cities

Juliana Kei (Royal College of Art, London)


And All That Believed Were Together: Property Disputes at the Boundaries of American Communitarian Orders

Rachel Julia Engler (Columbia University)


Undecidable Utopias: Violence and the Possibility of the Border

Carrie Reese (University of Toronto)


Discussant: Rosalind Morris (Professor, Columbia University)


2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Panel 3 – Planning for a Better Future


Utopia’s Library: Dreams of the Omnium Gatherum and the Problem of “Too Much Information” from the Enlightenment to the Information Age

Cory Knudson (University of Pennsylvania)


Socialist Infotopia: The First Turcology Congress and Latinization Across Eurasia, 1926-1938

Ulug Kuzuoglu (Columbia University)


The Concrete and the Utopian: Designing Ivry-sur-Seine’s City Center (1962-1986)

Vanessa Grossman (Princeton University)


Discussant: Lydia Liu (Professor, Columbia University)


4:15 pm – 6:15 pm

Roundtable: Utopia: Whither The Future?




Michael Hardt (Professor, Duke University),


Etienne Balibar (Visiting Professor, Columbia University; Professor Emeritus, Université de Paris X-Nanterre; Distinguished Professor, UC Irvine),


Organizing committee: Oskar Orn Arnorsson, Harlan David Chambers, Nile Davies, Nina Horisaki-Christens, Gustav Kalm, Jonah Rowen, Milan Tobias Terlunen, Stefan Tarnowski.


The Organizing Committee would like to thank: Michael Hardt, Etienne Balibar, Ioanna Laliotou, Reinhold Martin, Rosalind Morris, Lydia Liu, Sarah Monks.


Sponsored by: The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society; Center for Contemporary Critical Thought; Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture; Weatherhead East Asian Institute; Harriman Institute; Department of Anthropology; Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures; Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies; Department of Germanic Languages; Department of Sociology, The Heyman Center for Humanities.


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