This event will take place on Wednesday, 7 September, 5:30pm ET at Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation (RKC) 103 at Bard College.
“Each day we are sold different versions of yesterday, but rarely offered a different tomorrow. The apocalypse streams into every household at a flat rate. In an era of dystopian forebodings, the future can no longer be taken for granted, and optimism is under siege. It seems high time for a reboot of utopian literature, in which a space that is not, may yet come to be in the future. We are near forgetting that history is not a foregone conclusion, and that fatalism is the last refuge of the coward. How we shape the future lies in our own hands, but with the prerequisite that we are ready to think ahead, into the unknown and uncertain, imagining alternatives to given paradigms. If the seeds of human progress are indeed planted by ideas before they can blossom into transformations, utopian narratives are of existential importance.” Our guest, Ilija Trojanow, has spent the past several years working on a utopian novel and exploring the history of Utopia. At a time when we reckon with our destruction of the natural world and of imagination, Trojanow’s work encourages us to scrub clear our overclouded skies and to ask ourselves: what is literature if not unshackled fancy?