LA&PS Professor Dr. Sylwia Chrostowska from the Department of Humanities was recently on the New Books Network podcast, which featured Dr. Chrostowska’s book Utopia in the age of survival: between myth and politics, published by Stanford University Press in October 2021.
In the podcast, Dr. Chrostowska starts with the genesis of the book and discusses the way the term utopia is used today, and some of the reasons for its rehabilitation as a concept at a time when reality increasingly resembles dystopia. Dr. Chrostowska examines the tension between utopian thinking and life as survival and develops the idea that utopian dreaming as well as utopianizing democratic practices and politics can spring from our growing consciousness that humanity worldwide is being “reduced” to the condition of survival. Dr. Chrostowska provides an overview of key ideas in the book, namely, utopia as myth and as hypothesis, and utopianism as a plural and inherently iconoclastic intellectual and literary tradition. Rejecting the view that utopianism in these senses is out of touch or antithetical to contemporary left-wing politics, Dr. Chrostowska argues that it is the only way to address and survive our current crises. Utopia may be the most appropriate and effective survival skill for humankind and the planet.
To listen to the full episode, please visit the New Books Network website.