Review of Twoty-Twoty-Two (2022): Utopian Studies Conference

Photograph of utopian studies conference venue at University of Brighton
Conference venue: University of Brighton

The thing that took me farthest out of my comfort zone in 2022 was attending the Utopian Studies Society conference. I thought it would be nice to have a few days away to discuss all things utopian but I was wrong. I stretched my elastic too far just to get there. It was my first time travelling on my own and travelling much at all since the pandemic and having a child (both things that have tied me to home over the past few years). Having to then leave my room and attend events was so hard. This is despite my room (in student halls) being unbearably hot and depressing.

Yes, this was another USS conference in a heatwave, like the previous one in Prato, Italy in 2019 where we discussed utopia, dystopia and climate change in 40 degree heat (Celcius, folks). Just the thing to make discussions feel urgent and hopeless at the same time.

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Literature and Activism: Octavia Butler, farming and community

The inside of a polytunnel with crops growing at the end of the season.
The inside of a polytunnel with crops growing at the end of the season.
The polytunnel, Long Ashton Growers, October 2021

The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft are putting together their School of Activism programme for April 2022. More news on this to follow! In the meantime, it’s got me thinking about literature and activism.

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Three utopian things bringing me joy this month

As I mentioned in my last post (the one before Rob Bryher’s article on car free cities and environmental justice), I haven’t been reading novels lately. Since admitting this, I’ve felt more able to focus on what I am currently enjoying in the world of utopia, and consciously taking pleasure from those things. This includes essays, online talks and events, and adding to my reading list for that future day when the book lust kicks in again. It’s a lesson in being led by what I enjoy. So here’s my round up of the utopian things bringing me joy this month.

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