October 16, 2006 – Antonis Balasopoulos: “Ghosts of the Future: Jameson, Derrida, and the Afterlife of Utopia”
Monday, October 16 / 4PM / Cowell Conference Room
Antonis Balasopoulos is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Studies at the University of Cyprus. His recent research has focused on the cultural production of space, with particular emphasis on utopian spaces. His publications in this area include essays in the journals Gramma (2001), Utopian Studies (2004), Cultural Critique (2006), and in edited volumes, including Exploring the Utopian Impulse: Essays on the Terrain of Utopian Thought and Practice (forthcoming, Peter Lang 2007) and Futurescapes: Space in Utopian and Science Fiction (forthcoming, Rodopi 2008). He is currently working on completing two book-length studies: a monograph, Groundless Dominions: Utopia, Science Fiction and the Cultural Politics of US Expansionism, and a collection of his essays, Figures of Utopia: Literature, Politics, Philosophy. The talk is a working version of the last chapter of this collection. It argues that Derridean “hauntology” is a useful tool for comprehending the stakes in a certain strain of utopianism, and that utopianism provides a useful contextualization for a certain strain of deconstructive politics. The talk holds that a thought that attends to the areas of productive tension between Marxism, utopia, and deconstruction is vital to the maintenance of a political relation to the future, the preservation of utopianism after the end of utopia.