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Utopian Dreaming: 50 years of Imagined Futures in California and at UCSC

November 7, 2015 @ 8:30 am - 5:30 pm  |  Music Center Recital Hall


In 2015, UCSC is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia its 40th. Both are products of a fertile period of ferment across California, during the 1960s and 1970s. Why has California been such a fertile and fruitful site for “Utopian Dreaming,” in film, fiction, media, design, architecture, mobility, electronics, intentional communities,ecology and environment, counter-culture and social movements? What kinds of futures has California come to represent? What has been the role of UCSC in these imaginaries of the future. Does California remain a Promised Land, or is it a Land of Squandered Promise?
On November 6th and 7th, 2015, join scholars, students, observers and utopian dreamers , in a conference to celebrate those anniversaries and explore visions of the future that have emerged from California and UCSC about California and UCSC. Presentations will run the gamut from Ecotopia to Technodystopia, from the real to the fantasized, from the past to the future, assessing the impacts of utopian imaginaries on culture, politics, environment, cities, beliefs and ideologies at UCSC, across California, and beyond.

Admission is free, but attendees are asked to register for the conference here.

Conference Schedule:
Friday, November 6, UCSC Music Recital Hall, 7:30-10 PM

7:30-10: Keynote — Return to Ecotopia: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Ernest Callenbach.
Kim Stanley Robinson, “Ecotopia and the 1970s Utopian Moment”
Conversation & Reminiscences about Ecotopia & Ernest Callenbach
Malcolm Margolin (publisher, Heyday Books, Berkeley),
Joanna Callenbach (daughter)
Richard Kahlenberg (Callenbach’s literary agent)

Saturday, November 7, UCSC Music Recital Hall

8:30-9: Registration & Continental Breakfast
9-9:30: Keynote  Fred McPherson, “Utopia at UCSC: The Early Years”
9:30-11:00: Panel I — California as Eco(u)topia
Benjamin Wurgaft (MIT), “All Futures Green and Chrome: From Callenbach’s Ecotopia to 21st-Century Cornucopianism”
Kristin Miller (Sociology, UCSC), “Postcards from the Future”
11-11:15: Coffee break
11:15-12:45: Panel II — Ecotopia and Apocalypse
Andrew Mathews (Anthropology, UCSC), “Climate Change as Utopia and Apocalypse”
Ursula Heise (English, UCLA), “What’s the Matter with Dystopia?”
12:45-1:30: Lunch (provided to attendees on site)
1:30-3:00: Panel III — Imagining Other Utopian Worlds
Rosaura Sanchez & Beatrice Pita (Literature, UC San Diego), “The Color of Sci Fi: The Presence/Absence of People of Color in Future Imaginaries.”

Miriam Greenberg (Sociology, UCSC), “Whose Ecotopia? Tracing Multiple Visions of a Sustainable Future in Northern California and Beyond”
3-3:15: Coffee break
3:15-4:45: Panel IV — California Techno-pasts and Utopian Futures
Fred Turner (Communications, Stanford), “From Counterculture To Cyberculture: How The Whole Earth Catalog Brought Us Virtual Community”
Richard Barbrook (Department of Politics and IR, U. of Westminster, London), “The California Ideology 2.0”
4:45-5:30: Concluding Remarks
Ronnie D. Lipschutz (Politics and College Eight, UCSC), “Eco-utopias and Other Such Futurist Dreaming in California”


For questions and information, please contact Ronnie Lipschutz, (email preferred) or 831-459-3275/459-2543.

This conference is sponsored by College Eight, with funds from the Distinguished Visiting Professor fund, and the following: the Social Sciences Division, Anthropology, Sociology, Politics, Latin American & Latino Studies, Environmental Studies, Art, History, Literature, Crown College, Merrill College, Cowell College, Stevenson College, Porter College, Oakes College, Kresge College Institute of the Arts & Sciences, Institute for Humanities Research, the Everett Program, the Chicano-Latino Research Center, the Science & Justice Research Center, an anonymous donor, the UCSC Natural Reserve Program, the Student Environmental Center and University Relations.


November 7, 2015
8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Event Tags:


Music Center Recital Hall
Music Center
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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