Archipelagos & Utopias

Schools of Public Engagement: Global Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Archipelagos & Utopias

Fall 2020

Taught By: Dejan Lukic

Section: A

CRN: 5380

Credits: 3

Islands and archipelagos are given minor weight in understanding “the global”. They are spatially marginal (not the mainland), often politically contested (disputed by multiple states), and critically climatic (disappearing from the rising sea levels, emerging from volcanic eruptions). Yet by their very geography they invite the thought of newness: how do we relate to nature and other human beings? How to survive and be self-sustainable? How to build a society? These questions bring us to the elusive concept of utopia, which refers to the underlying and primordial impulse to build a better world, no matter how small it might be. There were many historical attempts to accomplish this, just as there are many that remain imaginary as stories or sketches for the future. We will therefore study the nature of so-called free societies, incidental societies, indigenous societies, shipwrecks. Those that failed and those that remain potential. To this end we will analyze the provocative work of anthropologist Viveiros de Castro, philosophers Peter Sloterdijk and Edouard Glissant, artists Tomas Saraceno and Olafur Eliasson, sociologist Gabriel Tarde, science fiction authors Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin, writers Andre Breton and Suzanne Cesaire, and others. Each session will focus on a concrete archipelagic detail and illustrate it through texts, images, and maps. Finally, archipelagic utopias might actually provide practical solutions to our increasingly overpopulated urban spaces, as 50% of the human population now lives on 2% of the planetary surface. As a final project you will devise your own experimental outline for a different world.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Global Studies (UGLB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 14, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 22, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 1:10pm 4/5/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday

Times: 4:00pm - 6:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 8/31/2020 - 12/14/2020