SSAHRI Conference CFP: Utopia

Call for papers:  Utopia! experiments in perfection


Spirella Ballroom, Letchworth Garden City, 12th November 2015 followed by a plenary lecture and reception

This conference explores the concept of Utopia – the social, economic, educational, environmental, literary, cultural, aesthetic and philosophical foundations for the hope of a better world.

The conference will take place in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, the world’s ‘first Garden City’, and one of the first practical experiments in Utopian place-making to bring this better world about. 

The plenary and public sessions of the conference will examine Utopia and its aesthetic expression through the design and planning of towns and cities past, present and future.  The conference Keynote will be delivered by Professor Alan Powers.

The conference is open to all staff and research students at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Lincoln, and is supported by the Social Science, Arts and Humanities Research Institute (SSAHRI) at the University of Hertfordshire, and the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lincoln.

Papers may examine but are not limited to:

  • Utopian thought and politics past and present 
  • The ideal city 
  • Utopian visionaries
  • Garden Cities,  New Towns and planned estates
  • Utopianism and dystopia
  • Social experiments past and present
  • Utopianism, work and technology 
  • Literary visions of Utopia

Submission instructions:

Deadline: 30 September 2015

We invite contributions from academic staff and research students from the Universities of Lincoln and Hertfordshire in the following forms:

  • Individual papers of up to 20 minutes
  • Panels of 3 or 4 papers of up to 1 hour
  • Posters of A2 size

We also welcome contributions to a roundtable from experts practicing in the fields of urban planning, place-making, urbanism, architecture and design and related disciplines.

Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 200 words to

Participants will be notified about acceptance by mid-October. 

To register your place for the conference, would you please contact:

Organising committee:
Dr Steven Adams, School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire
Dr Susan Parham, Centre for Sustainable Communities, University of Hertfordshire
Dr Katrina Navickas, Centre for Regional and Local History Research, University of Hertfordshire
Dr Ian Waites, School of Architecture and Design, University of Lincoln