S. D. ChrostowskaOct 6, 2023
Utopia in the Age of Survival
Between Myth and Politics
Stanford University Press 2021
A pathbreaking exploration of the fate of utopia in our troubled times, this book shows how the historically intertwined endeavors of utopia and critique might be leveraged in response to humanity's looming existential challenges.
Utopia in the Age of Survival: Between Myth and Politics (Stanford UP, 2021) makes the case that critical social theory needs to reinstate utopia as a speculative myth. At the same time the left must reassume utopia as an action-guiding hypothesis—that is, as something still possible. S. D. Chrostowska looks to the vibrant, visionary mid-century resurgence of embodied utopian longings and projections in Surrealism, the Situationist International, and critical theorists writing in their wake, reconstructing utopia's link to survival through to the earliest, most radical phase of the French environmental movement. Survival emerges as the organizing concept for a variety of democratic political forms that center the corporeality of desire in social movements contesting the expanding management of life by state institutions across the globe.
Vigilant and timely, balancing fine-tuned analysis with broad historical overview to map the utopian impulse across contemporary cultural and political life, Chrostowska issues an urgent report on the vitality of utopia.
S.D. Chrostowska is Professor of Humanities and Social & Political Thought at York University. She is the author of Literature on Trial: The Emergence of Critical Discourse in Germany, Poland, and Russia, 1700-1800 (2012), among other titles.
Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.