[csaa-forum] CHANGING THE CLIMATE: UTOPIA, DYSTOPIA AND CATASTROPHE - The Fourth Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction

Andrew Milner Andrew.Milner at arts.monash.edu.au
Thu Aug 26 08:05:40 CST 2010

The Fourth Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction

30th August – 1st September 2010

Monash University Conference Centre
30 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia

A conference organised by the Centre for Comparative Literature and
Cultural Studies at Monash University

WEBSITE: http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/ecps/conferences/utopias/4/

In December 2001 the University of Tasmania hosted a successful
conference around the theme of Antipodean Utopias. In December 2005,
Monash University hosted a second conference, around that of Imagining
the Future, to mark the long-awaited publication of Fredric Jameson’s
book Archaeologies of the Future. A third conference, Demanding the
Impossible, followed in December 2007, again at Monash. Despite the
apparent optimism of all three conference themes, dystopia remained a
recurrent preoccupation in their discussions. This fourth conference
will directly address the questions of dystopia and catastrophe with
special reference to a problem that increasingly haunts our imaginings
of the future, that of actual or possible environmental catastrophe.
As Jameson himself wrote in The Seeds of Time: ‘It seems … easier for
us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and
of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; perhaps that is due
to some weakness in our imaginations’. Hopefully, this conference will
play some small part in changing that particular climate of opinion.


The opening address will be given by Kate Rigby, Founding President of
the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment,
Australia-New Zealand, and author of Topographies of the Sacred: The
Poetics of Place in European Romanticism (2004).


John Clute
Science fiction writer, Director of the Department of Story Future in
the Centre for the Future at Slavonice and co-author of The
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993) and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

Tom Moylan
Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the Ralahine Center for
Utopian Studies, University of Limerick, author of Demand the
Impossible (1986) and Scraps of the Untainted Sky (2000) and co-editor
of Dark Horizons (2003).

Kim Stanley Robinson
Distinguished science fiction writer, winner of two Hugo Awards and
author of the Orange Country Trilogy, the Mars Trilogy, Antarctica,
The Years of Rice and Salt and the Science in the Capital Trilogy.

Deborah Bird Rose
Professor of Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, author of Dingo
Makes Us Human (2000), Reports from a Wild Country (2004) and Wild Dog
Dreaming: Love and Extinction (in press).

Linda Williams
Associate Professor in Art History at RMIT University, curator of The
Idea of the Animal exhibition (2004) and the HEAT: Art and Climate
Change exhibition (2008).


The conference will take place over three days.
Full registration for the three days costs $A280, with a concessional
price for students and the non-employed of $A140.
Registration for one day only costs $A110, with a concessional price
of $A55. All prices are GST inclusive.

On-line registration - 3-day or 1-day - is available at:

Off-line registration will be available on the day.


Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
School of English, Communications and Performance Studies
Monash University
Victoria 3800

Phone: (61) (3)  9905 2095
Fax: (61) (3) 9905 5593
Email: arts-clcs at monash.edu

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list