Title, Utopianism Concepts in Social Thought · Concepts in the social sciences. Author, Krishan Kumar. Edition, illustrated. Publisher, Open University Press. A fine little monograph. Rather than surveying the concept (and its literature) at its broadest, Kumar (social thought, U. of Kent at Canterbury) wisely treats utopia. Utopia has become a vague term, synonymous almost with the Good Society or the Good Time. It is applied to the dreams and visions of all peoples and all.

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B o o k R eview s Krishan Kumar.

University o f Minnesota Press, Syracuse University Press, These two books are a testimony to a burgeoning interest in utopian studies, both in Europe and the USA. They also provide a useful corrective to some of the excesses of this utopian revival.

It is clear, accessible and well-written, and relatively comprehensive, given the space constraints. In the process Kumar does attempt to clarify a number of vexed conceptual questions. This is because Kumar defines utopia very narrowly as the literary form invented by Thomas More in Kumar further asserts that the utopia is a product of western culture, and could not have emerged in non-westem societies.


Utopianism – Krishan Kumar – Google Books

This certainly makes the subject more manageable, but it is something of a Pyrrhic victory, with restriction amounting to reduction. Out go the very plausible ancient and medieval claimants, as does the indigenous material of vast tracts of the globe. Non-literary forms, such as social and political theory, would also appear to be eliminated. He would also seem to be very close to implying that utopianism is tantamount to cultural imperialism in non-western societies.

Utopias and the Millennium (): Krishan Kumar and Stephen Bann – BiblioVault

Kumar also finds it difficult to remain within the framework of his definition. There is, however, no adequate theorisation of the relationship between utopia and utopian theory.

She examines a range of thinkers, kdishan Marx, Sorel, Mannheim, Bloch, William Morris and Marcuse, and topics such as contemporary utopian studies, and the shifting nature of the utopian canon.

The analytical core of the text is her attempt to characterise utopianism in terms of content, form and function. To this task she brings impressive analytical skills and a sharp, occasionally fierce, critical intelligence.

These two books point the way forward for the second phase of the utopian revival— VOL. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’. View freely available titles: Book titles OR Journal titles. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.


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