Archiving Utopia — Utopia as Archive


The Nittany Lion Inn on the Penn State Campus
State College, Pennsylvania
October 20-23, 2011

Preconference Seminar : Master Class on Architecture and Utopia

The 2011 Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference celebrates the ongoing evolution of one of the world's largest—and best--collections of utopian materials in the world. The Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection is housed in Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State's Paterno Library. The Society's own archive resides here, as do thousands of titles, primarily in British and American utopian literature, published from 1516 up to today. In addition to the usual stimulating schedule of papers, this conference will feature an exhibit highlighting some of the collection's most valuable treasures. Participants will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the many research opportunities here.

The conference will not only highlight the breadth and depth of the Lewis Collection, but also the importance of the archive as broader theme within Utopian Studies. This refers not only to actual physical spaces, but also the significance of the archive in utopian literature, archival practices in utopian movements, and the archive as utopian space itself. We ask for papers, panels, presentations and performances on the cultural, political, social, architectural, and managerial aspects of the archive as utopian space. We also welcome papers on other aspects of the utopian tradition - from the earliest utopian visions to the utopian speculations and yearnings of the 21st century, including art, architecture, urban and rural planning, literary utopias, dystopian writings, utopian political activism, theories of utopian spaces and ontologies, music, new media, or intentional communities.

Finally, in advance of a special issue of Utopian Studies on the theme of "utopia and education," we also highly encourage papers on any aspect of that topic: utopian pedagogies (in utopian fictions or in actual practice), utopia as an educational process; education as a utopian process; the university as (intentional) community; geographies of utopian education.

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State College, Pennsylvania is home to Penn State University's main campus, with around 45,000 students. In addition to Penn State's beautiful University Park campus, surrounded by farms and mountains, the town itself offers restaurants and shops. The University Park airport, serviced by Delta, United and US Air, is only 10 minutes from the conference hotel. State College is located between 3 and 5 hours by car from New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Conference Registration

To participate in the conference it is necessary to both register for the conference and to become a member of The Society for Utopian Studies.

Membership information:

Conference registration form

These forms must be returned, along with your non-refundable payment, by no later than September 1, 2011.
If you have any questions about conference registration, please contact Alex McDonald (, Treasurer, or Sonja Fritzsche, Program Chair (

Hotel Reservations

Our block of rooms is available at Penn State's Nittany Lion Inn (, which is located right on campus. Conference participants should make their reservations by September 15, 2011 in order to receive the conference rate. Please identify yourself as an SUS conference participant, and give provide the staff with the following reservation code: SOCJ11A.

Reservations are to be made directly by calling the NLI at 1-800-233-7505.

If you have any questions about travel to State College or about the hotel please contact our Local Arrangements Chair, Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor (

Society for Utopian Studies
Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants

Announcing newly established travel grants designed to aid graduate students with travel costs to the 2011 SUS conference at State College, PA. There are two grants of $500 each. One is for domestic travel and one is for international travel. Please send your paper proposal, budget proposal, and a recent c.v. to the conference program chair Sonja Fritzsche ( by June 1, 2011. On the budget proposal, please list other resources you have available from your home institution, research grants, or other sources.

Selection criteria include:

  1. The quality of the paper proposal/ abstract, with attention to its contribution to utopian studies
  2. The soundness of the proposed budget
  3. A demonstrated commitment to the society, as evidenced by repeat attendance and participation in the life of the society

Past Meeting Programs & Minutes

35th Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2010 Program

34th Annual Meeting in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina 2009 Program

33rd Annual Meeting in Portland: Maine 2008 Program

32nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario: 2007 Program

31th Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado: 2006 Program

30th Annual Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee: 2005 Program

29th Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario: 2004 Program

28th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California: 2003

27th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida: 2002 Program and 2002 Minutes

26th Annual Meeting in Buffalo, NY: 2001 Program and  2001 Minutes

25th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C.: 2000 Program and  2000 Minutes

24th Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX: 1999 Minutes

Society for Utopian Studies Conferences

2010 Milwaukee: Peter Sands; Brian Greenspan

2009 Wrightsville Beach: Peter Stillman; Claire Curtis

2008 Portland: Naomi Jacobs; Shelton Waldrep

2007 Toronto: Peter Fitting; Phillip Wegner

2006 Colorado Springs: Brenda Tooley; Carrie Hintz

2005 Memphis: Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor; Doretta Cornell

2004 Toronto: Peter Fitting; Alex MacDonald

2003 San Diego: Paul Majkut; Naomi Jacobs

2002 Orlando: John Barberet; Peter Sands

2001 Buffalo: Lynda Schneekloth; Phillip Wegner

2000 Vancouver: Nancy Sloan Goldberg; Andrea Anderson

1999 San Antonio: Alex MacDonald; Peter Fitting

1997 Memphis: Jennifer Wagner; Peter Fitting

1996 Nashville: Nancy Sloan Goldberg

1995 Toronto: June Deery; Mickey Abrash; Peter Fitting

1994 Toronto: Kenneth Roemer; Peter Fitting

1993 St. Louis: Lyman Tower Sargent; Naomi Jacobs

1992 Baltimore: Carol Kolmerten

1991 Las Vegas: Felicia F. Campbell

1990 Lexington, KY: Susan Matarese

1989 Asilomar Conference Ctr.: Samson Knoll

1988 Emerson College: Lynn Williams

1987 Penn State Delaware County: Carol Farley Kessler

Pacific Grove, CA: Dennis Rohatyn

1986 Asilomar Conference Ctr.: Samson Knoll; Michael Orth

1985 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Mickey Abrash

1984 University of Missouri-St Louis: Lyman Tower Sargent

1983 Indiana University of Pennsylvania: Edward D. Wilson

1982 University of New Brunswick: William Prouty

1981 Virginia Polytechnic Institute: Nicholas Smith

1980 Pennsylvania State University: Arthur O. Lewis

1979 University of Colorado-Denver: Michael Cummings

1978 Pennsylvania State University: Arthur O. Lewis

1977 University of Michigan: Gorman Beauchamp; Alexandra Aldridge

1976 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Mickey Abrash