Cover of Utopia in the Age of Survival by S. D. Chrostowska
Utopia in the Age of Survival
Between Myth and Politics
S. D. Chrostowska

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October 2021
208 pages.
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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503629981
Paperback ISBN: 9781503629998

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A pathbreaking exploration of the fate of utopia in our troubled times, this book shows how the historically intertwined endeavors of utopia and critique might be leveraged in response to humanity's looming existential challenges.

Utopia in the Age of Survival makes the case that critical social theory needs to reinstate utopia as a speculative myth. At the same time the left must reassume utopia as an action-guiding hypothesis—that is, as something still possible. S. D. Chrostowska looks to the vibrant, visionary mid-century resurgence of embodied utopian longings and projections in Surrealism, the Situationist International, and critical theorists writing in their wake, reconstructing utopia's link to survival through to the earliest, most radical phase of the French environmental movement. Survival emerges as the organizing concept for a variety of democratic political forms that center the corporeality of desire in social movements contesting the expanding management of life by state institutions across the globe.

Vigilant and timely, balancing fine-tuned analysis with broad historical overview to map the utopian impulse across contemporary cultural and political life, Chrostowska issues an urgent report on the vitality of utopia.

About the author

S.D. Chrostowska is Professor of Humanities and Social & Political Thought at York University. She is the author of Literature on Trial: The Emergence of Critical Discourse in Germany, Poland, and Russia, 1700-1800 (2012), among other titles.