Utopia is more often than not a term of embarrassment for the humanities. It finds itself caught between a post–Cold War liberal conviction that system change is a thing of the past and a version of radical criticism that has an easier time naming complicities than imagining alternatives. There have, of course, been scholars who have bucked against these conventions, detecting the positive tremors of utopia emanating from literary and cultural production. Fredric Jameson, for example, has elaborated an ethos of anti-anti-utopianism: a spirited defense of the imagination of other worlds against reactionary attempts to foreclose futurity. In literary and cultural studies, this defense of futurity might be understood as a kind of utopian front that includes a broad array of scholars, such as Jodi Dean, Kara Keeling, Fred Moten, José Esteban Muñoz, Kathi Weeks, and Phillip E. Wegner.

Joshua Kotin’s Utopias...

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