Coding Utopias

ICI Berlin
28–29 September 2023
In English

An ICI Berlin event organized in collaboration with the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut at Freie Universität Berlin and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Organized by Marta Aleksandrowicz (ICI Berlin), Michela Coletta (ICI Berlin / FU Berlin / University of Warwick), Sarath Jakka (ICI Berlin / ISRF), Ben Woodard (ICI Berlin)

Lara Choksey (Lecturer in Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures, UCL), Hilda Fernandez-Alvarez (Lacanian psychoanalyst), Patricia Reed (artist and designer), Fátima Vieira (Professor of English, University of Porto)

There is no shortage of critiques of utopian imaginaries for being coded in colonial, Western, masculine, Christian, and extractive ideologies. Utopia has been, and continues to be, an often violent gesture that chooses the future of select groups and certain forms of life at the expense of others. Is utopia, then, still worth keeping in a world that has been so damaged through its violent deployments? Is it possible not to treat utopia merely as a model of abstract futurity based on escapist projections of a harmonious ideal? What happens when utopia is conceived not only as a way of imagining a better future but also as a way of intervening in the present by addressing the past? Can utopia welcome ambivalence, disquietude, paradox, opacity, and uncertainty?

For further details please see the event page.

Proposals for 20-minute paper presentations are invited. Also welcome are proposals for interventions through other creative formats, including though not limited to performances, exhibitions, screenings, and conversations.

Please email a 200-word proposal and short bio to by Monday, 17 July 2023. Notifications of acceptance will be sent at the beginning of August. The symposium organizers intend to offer a small sum to help fund participants’ travel to Berlin, especially early career participants or those without other financial support.

KV Coding Utopias

Image Credit © Claudia Peppel

Posted on 20 June 2023