Conceiving Ecoptopia

Authors

  • David Landis Barnhill University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v5i2.126

Keywords:

ecotopia, horizon, orientation, critical utopia, utopian desire, blueprint

Abstract

Clarity of terminology is important in ecotopian studies. We can de?ne an ecotopian society as one that operates in interactive harmony with ecological systems, with humans and nonhuman nature mutually ?ourishing. The functions of ecotopia include critiquing contemporary society, stimulating ecotopian desire, and creating thought experiments about possible ecotopian societies. While many have noted the limitations of producing detailed and universal blueprints for a utopia, we can and should articulate positive content in ecotopian dreaming, which would give orientation to efforts toward an ecotopian horizon. The following principles provide a framework for ecotopianism while allowing for a wide diversity of ecotopian explorations: suf?ciency, high quality of life, egalitarianism, communitarianism, libertarianism, radical democracy, decentralization, appropriate technology, an af?rmation that the natural world has intrinsic value, a sense of identi?cation with nature, and a critique of the degradation of ecological systems.

References

Abbey, Edward. 1968. Desert Solitaire (New York: McGraw Hill).

Alexander, Bryan N. 1998. ‘Jameson’s Adorno and the Problem of Utopia’, Utopian Studies 9.2: 51-57.

Barnhill, David Landis. 2010. ‘Surveying the Landscape: A New Approach to Nature Writing’, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment 17.2: 1-18.

———. Forthcoming. ‘Critical Utopianism and Bioregional Ecocriticism’, in Karla Armbruster, Cheryll Glotfelty, and Tom Lynch (eds.), The Bioregional Imagination: New Perspectives on Literature, Ecology, and Place (Athens: University of Georgia Press).

Bartkowski, Frances. 1989. Feminist Utopias (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press).

Berlinski, Claire. 2008. There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters (New York: Basic Books).

Bloch, Ernst. 1986. The Principle of Hope (3 vols.; Cambridge: MIT Press).

Callenbach, Ernest. 1975. Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston (Berkeley: Banyan Tree).

Cassirer, Ernst. 1944. An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press).

Daly, Herman E. 1996. Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development (Boston: Beacon Press).

de Geus, Marius. 1999. Ecological Utopias: Envisioning the Sustainable Society (Utrecht: International Books).

Dobson, Andrew. 1995. Green Political Thought (New York: Routledge).

Engels, Friedrich. 1900. Socialism, Utopian and Scienti_c (trans. Edward Aveling; Chicago: C.H. Kerr).

Escudie, Helene. 2008. ‘Entretien avec Ursula K. Le Guin’, in Carl Freedman (ed.), Conversations with Ursula K. Le Guin (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi): 124-62.

Fitting, Peter. 1998. ‘The Concept of Utopia in the Work of Fredric Jameson’, Utopian Studies 9.2: 8-17.

Garforth, Lisa. 2005. ‘Green Utopias: Beyond Apocalypse, Progress, and Pastoral’, Utopian Studies 16.3: 393-427.

Golf_ng, Francis, and Barbara Golf_ng. 1971. ‘An Essay on Utopian Possibility’, in George Kateb (ed.), Utopia (New York: Atherton): 29-39.

Harvey, David. 2000. Spaces of Hope (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Heise, Ursula K. 2008. Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (Oxford: Oxford University Press). doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335637.001.0001.

Hinkelammert, Franz Josef, and Ulrich Duchrow. 2004. Property for People, Not for Pro_t: Alternatives to the Global Tyranny of Capital (London: Zed).

Jacoby, Russell. 2005. Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age (New York: Columbia University Press).

Jameson, Fredric. 1982. ‘Progress Versus Utopia; or, Can We Imagine the Future?’, Science-Fiction Studies 9: 147-58.

———. 1988. ‘Cognitive Mapping’, in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds.), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Urbana: University of Illinois Press): 347-57.

———. 2005. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (London and New York: Verso).

Le Guin, Ursula K. 1985. Always Coming Home (New York: Harper).

Levitas, Ruth. 1990. The Concept of Utopia (New York: Philip Allan).

———. 1997 [1990]. ‘Educated Hope: Ernst Bloch on Abstract and Concrete Utopia’, in Jamie Owen Daniel and Tom Moylan (eds.), Not Yet: Reconsidering Ernst Bloch (London and New York: Verso): 65-79.

Morris, William. 1890. News from Nowhere; or an Epoch of Rest, Being Some Chapters from a Utopian Romance (Boston: Roberts).

Moylan, Tom. 1986. Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (New York: Methuen).

———. 2000. Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia (Boulder, CO: Westview Press).

Nadir, Christine. 2010. ‘Utopian Studies, Environmental Literature, and the Legacy of an Idea: Educating Desire in Miguel Abensour and Ursula K. Le Guin’, Utopian Studies 21.1: 24-56. doi:10.1353/utp.0.0014.

Orwell, George. 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four (New York: Harcourt & Brace).

Parrinder, Patrick. 2001. ‘Revisiting Suvin’s Poetics of Science Fiction’, in Learning from Other Worlds: Estrangement, Cognition, and the Politics of Science Fiction and Utopia (Durham: Duke University Press): 36-50.

Pepper, David. 2005. ‘Utopianism and Environmentalism’, Environmental Politics 14.1: 3-22. doi:10.1080/0964401042000310150.

Philippon, Daniel J. 2005. Conserving Words: How American Nature Writers Shaped the Environmental Movement (Athens: University of Georgia Press).

Princen, Thomas. 2005. The Logic of Suf_ciency (Cambridge: MIT Press).

Robinson, Kim Stanley (ed.). 1994. Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias (New York: Tor).

Ruppert, Peter. 1986. Reader in a Strange Land: The Activity of Reading Literary Utopias (Athens: University of Georgia Press).

Sargent, Lyman Tower. 1967. ‘The Three Faces of Utopianism’, Minnesota Review 7.3: 222-30.

———. 1975. ‘Utopia: The Problem of De_nition’, Extrapolation 16.2: 137-48.

———. 1994. ‘The Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited’, Utopian Studies 5.1: 1-37.

———. 2006. ‘In Defense of Utopia’, Diogenes 53.1: 11-17. doi:10.1177/0392192106062432.

———. 2010. Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Smith, Jeremy. 2002. ‘Kim Stanley Robinson: The Ambiguous Utopian’. Online: http://www.januarymagazine.com/pro_les/ksrobinson.html.

Suvin, Darko. 1979. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre (New Haven: Yale University Press).

———. 1990. ‘Locus, Horizon, and Orientation: The Concept of Possible Worlds as a Key to Utopian Studies’, Utopian Studies 1.2: 69-83.

———. 2003. ‘Theses on Dystopia 2001’, in Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan (eds.), Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination (New York: Routledge): 187-201.

Taylor, Bron. 2010. Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Thomashow, Mitchell. 1999. ‘Toward a Cosmopolitan Bioregionalism’, in Michael Vincent McGinnis (ed.), Bioregionalism (New York: Routledge): 121-32.

Downloads

Published

2011-08-29

How to Cite

Barnhill, D. L. (2011). Conceiving Ecoptopia. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 5(2), 126–144. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v5i2.126

Section

Articles