chapter  1
45 Pages

English Utopia and Utopian England

WithMaxim Shadurski

Chapter 1 intervenes into theories of utopia, nationalism, and place, at whose intersections utopia is conceptualized as a content-based, spatially and temporally locatable, and iconoclastic phenomenon. The chapter maintains that as long as nation-states hold ideological purchase over bordered territories, the task of utopia remains to renegotiate, subvert, and transcend national discourse with a view to bringing forth alternate places. Comprised of the historically mutable notions of geography, continuity, and character, national discourse commits England to an existence that frequently has no foothold in either space or time. Utopia’s work on the discourse of England may enable an alterity whose geography will have witnessed a revision of land ownership, continuity reinforced the pursuit of liberty, and idiom of character espoused closer associations with humanity.