Utopia Image 3Image Credit: kaythaney

Missed any of February 2016’s LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival? This year’s event, which ran between Monday 22nd February and Saturday 26th February, marked the 500-year anniversary of Thomas More’s groundbreaking book, Utopia.

A series of exciting talks featuring the likes of Zoe Williams, Jacqueline Rose, AC Grayling, Robert Harris and Peter Frankopan explored questions of the imagination, dissidence, nostalgia and the quest for a better world. Here LSE Review of Books presents our overview of the features, reviews and podcasts inspired by LSE Lit Fest 2016.


Features and Reviews

More Utopia 2

 

Assistant Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Michael Caines, introduced us to Thomas More’s Utopia, its continued significance and legacies. Read the feature.

 

 

Nowhere in the Middle Ages

But did it really all start with More? Professor Karma Lochrie asked whether we should also attend to medieval utopianisms to expand our understanding of utopian thought. When did we really begin dreaming?

 

 

Radical Imagination

 

LSE Review of Books recommended eight other must-read books on and around the theme of ‘Utopia’.

 

 

Neuromancer

Lit Fest speaker and LSE academic Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch introduced us to William Gibson’s novel, Neuromancer, and the questions it inspires regarding the nature of consciousness. Read the feature, and listen to the event podcast.

 

 

Dreamstreets

Ahead of ‘Experiments in Utopian Living’, Tom Kelsey reviewed Lit Fest speaker Jacqueline Yallop’s book, Dreamstreets: A Journey Through Britain Village Utopias, which takes readers on a tour of Britain’s historical ‘model village’ communities. Read the review, and listen to the event podcast.

 

 

Dynamo Island

Olivia Spyth reviewed a new vision of a fictional utopian island society inspired by More’s Utopia: Dynamo Island: The Cultural History and Geography of a Utopia by David Scott. Read the review.

 

 

The Silk RoadsAhead of ‘Looking Eastwards’, Lee Evans reviewed Lit Fest speaker Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, which seeks to counter the Eurocentric tendency to see globalisation solely as a process of Western Expansion by providing a comprehensive history of intellectual, physical and commercial exchange across The Silk Roads of Persia. Read the review, and listen to the event podcast.

 

You Don't have to live like this

Ahead of ‘Experiments in Utopian Living’, Maria Zhivitskaya reviewed You Don’t Have to Live Like This, a novel by Lit Fest speaker Benjamin Markovits which narrates the tale of disenchanted academic Greg Marnier, who is given the opportunity to participate in a regeneration project focused on abandoned neighbourhoods in Detroit. Read the review, and listen to the event podcast.

 


Podcasts

Missed any of the talks? Check out the podcasts of the Lit Fest events, including the following:

Party Animals

 

Polis LSE Lit Fest Conversation: Party Animals: Growing Up Communist

Speaker: David Aaronovitch

 

 

Jacqueline RoseForum for European Philosophy LSE Lit Fest discussion: Ideals of Equality: Feminisms in the Twenty-First Century

Speakers: Professor Sophie-Grace Chappell, Professor Heidi Mirza, Professor Jacqueline Rose, Zoe Williams

 

IllegalityLSE Department of Media & Communications Lit Fest Discussion: Uninvited Arrivals: Refugees and the Challenge of Responsibility

Speakers: Dr Ruben Andersson, Professor Lilie Chouliaraki, Dr Myria Georgiou and Dr Pierluigi Musarò

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