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Symposium Huizinga Research Network Utopia and Social Dreaming: ‘Entangles Utopias in Asia and Europe in the Long 20th Century’- 1 December 2021

On Wednesday 1 December 2021 (15.15-19.00), the Huizinga Institute Research Network organises a symposium on Entangled Utopias in Asia and Europe in the Long 20th Century.

This symposium examines utopia or social dreaming in the long twentieth century, with Asia and Europe as nodes, from the methodological perspective of connected and entangled literary, artistic and historical analysis, with the futuremaking and anticipatory consciousness of utopia (Ernst Bloch) materializing in the now-here. The participants work together from a shared vision of cultural history. India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Great Britain are some of the cultures and histories that are examined in connected and entangled perspective. The ‘good place’ of utopia is often also imagined through temporalities: a re-memorialized and reinvented past deployed or rejected in futuremaking is a subject examined in our panel. We also examine how aesthetic artefacts and circulating (translations) of ancient texts used by utopian movements, communities, and actors, from domains from art, craft, and writing, helped constitute utopian visions, while examining how the aesthetic relates to the ethical in utopianism.

Aesthetics, Everyday Utopia, and Transculturally Entangled Futures in Bengal, c.1900-c.1932, Barnita Bagchi, Comparative Literature, Utrecht University
Indian Utopias across Borders? Gandhi, the Gita and the Ashram in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia, 1920s-1990s, Marieke Bloembergen, KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies and Leiden University
“Political Potentiality”: Jamini Roy and the Formations of Progressive Art Criticism, Sanjukta Sunderason , University of Amsterdam
“Materealities” of Hope: Garden Heterotopias as Spaces of Connection and Transformation. Vera Alexander, University of Groningen
A Bridge Connecting Two Histories: Significance and Relevance of the Literary Circle Village Utopian Discourse in Contemporary Japan, Maja Vodopivec, Leiden University College
Ashram Conversations: Gandhians, Anarchists, and Esperantists in the 1960s peace movement, Carolien Stolte, Leiden university.


The event may be fully on location or hybrid. More information will follow soon.

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