In Making Dystopia, distinguished architectural historian James Stevens Curl tells the story of the advent of architectural Modernism in the aftermath of the First World War, its protagonists, and its astonishing, almost global acceptance after 1945. He argues forcefully that the triumph of architectural Modernism in the second half of the twentieth century led to massive destruction, the creation of alien urban landscapes, and a huge waste of resources. Moreover, the coming of Modernism was not an inevitable, seamless evolution, as many have insisted, but a massive, unparalled disruption that demanded a clean slate and the elimination of all ornament, decoration, and choice. Tracing the effects of the Modernist revolution in architecture to the present, Stevens Curl argues that, with each passing year, so-called 'iconic' architecture by supposed 'star' architects has become more and more bizarre, unsettling, and expensive, ignoring established contexts and proving to be stratospherically remote from the aspirations and needs of humanity. In the elite world of contemporary architecture, form increasingly follows finance, and in a society in which the 'haves' have more and more, and the 'have-nots' are ever more marginalized, he warns that contemporary architecture continues to stack up huge potential problems for the future, as housing costs spiral out of control, resources are squandered on architectural bling, and society fractures. This courageous, passionate, deeply researched, and profoundly argued book should be read by everyone concerned with what is around us. Its combative critique of the entire Modernist architectural project and its apologists will be highly controversial to many. But it contains salutary warnings that we ignore at our peril. And it asks awkward questions to which answers are long overdue.
Contemporary art has a complex relationship to crisis. On the one hand, art can draw us toward apocalypse: it charts unfolding chaos, reflects and amplifies the effects of crisis, shows us the dystopian in both our daily life and in our imagined futures. On the other hand, art’s complexity helps fathom the uncertainty of the world, question and challenge the order of things, and allows us to imagine new ways of living and being – to make new worlds. This collection of written and visual essays includes artistic responses to various crises – including the climate emergency, global and local inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic – and suggests new forms of collectivity and collaboration within artistic practice. It surveys a wide variety of practices, oriented from the perspective of Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Art making has always responded to the world; the essays in this collection explore how artists are adapting to a world in crisis. The contributions to this book are arranged in four sections: artistic responses; critical reflections, new curatorial approaches and the art school reimagined. Alongside the written chapters, three photographic essays provide specific examples of new visual forms in artistic practice under crisis conditions. The primary market for the book will be scholars and upper-level students of art and curating at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Specifically, the book will appeal to the burgeoning field of study around socially engaged art. Beyond the academic and student market, it will appeal to practicing artists and curators, especially those engaged in social practice and community-based art.
The volume is divided into two parts, separated by an Intermezzo. The first part, “Dystopia Matters”, benefits from the contribution of reputed scholars of the field of Utopian Studies, who were asked to make a statement explaining why dystopia is important. The Intermezzo completes this part and offers the reader an informed discussion of the concepts of utopia, dystopia and anti-utopia whilst providing ground for the case studies presented in the second part, in the sections devoted to literature, film, and theatre. In one way or another, despite the variety of approaches, all contributors argue for the idea that, if dystopia has invaded most forms of contemporary discourse, its sibling, utopia, has not been eradicated from the scene. Furthermore, the studies show that the tension between the two concepts is instrumental to our cautious, conscious, and tentative construction of the future.
Dystopian States of America provides students and researchers with an illuminating resource for understanding the impact and relevance of dystopian and apocalyptic works in contemporary American culture. Through its wide survey of dystopian works in numerous forms and genres, the book encourages readers to connect with these works of fiction and understand how the catastrophically grim or disquieting worlds they portray offer insights into our own current situation. In addition to providing more than 150 encyclopedia articles on a large and representative sample of dystopian/apocalyptic narratives in fiction, film, television, and video games (including popular works that often escape critical inquiry), Dystopian States of America features a suite of critical essays on five themes—war, pandemics, totalitarianism, environmental calamity, and technological overreach—that serve as the foundation for most dystopian worlds of the imagination. These offerings complement one another, enabling readers to explore dystopian conceptions of America and the world from multiple perspectives and vantage points.
Video games permeate our everyday existence. They immerse players in fascinating gameworlds and exciting experiences, often inviting them in various ways to reflect on the enacted events. Gerald Farca explores the genre of dystopian video games and the player's aesthetic response to their nightmarish gameworlds. Players, he argues, will gradually come to see similarities between the virtual dystopia and their own 'offline' environment, thus learning to stay wary of social and political developments. In his analysis, Farca draws from a variety of research fields, such as literary theory and game studies, combining them into a coherent theory of aesthetic response to dystopian games.
This book presents an extended account of the language of dystopia, exploring the creativity and style of dystopian narratives and mapping the development of the genre from its early origins through to contemporary practice. Drawing upon stylistic, cognitive-poetic and narratological approaches, the work proposes a stylistic profile of dystopia, arguing for a reader-led discussion of genre that takes into account reader subjectivity and personal conceptualisations of prototypicality. In examining and identifying those aspects of language that characterise dystopian narratives and the experience of reading dystopian fictions, the work discusses in particular the manipulation and construction of dystopian languages, the conceptualisation of dystopian worlds, the reading of dystopian minds, the projection of dystopian ethics, the unreliability of dystopian refraction, and the evolution and hybridity of the dystopian genre.
This is the first extended study to specifically focus on character in dystopia. Through the lens of the "last man" figure, Character and Dystopia: The Last Men examines character development in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Nathanael West’s A Cool Million, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, Chan Koonchung’s The Fat Years, and Maggie Shen King’s An Excess Male, showing how in the 20th and 21st centuries dystopian nostalgia shades into reactionary humanism, a last stand mounted in defense of forms of subjectivity no longer supported by modernity. Unlike most work on dystopia that emphasizes dystopia’s politics, this book’s approach grows out of questions of poetics: What are the formal structures by which dystopian character is constructed? How do dystopian characters operate differently than other characters, within texts and upon the reader? What is the relation between this character and other forms of literary character, such as are found in romantic and modernist texts? By reading character as crucial to the dystopian project, the book makes a case for dystopia as a sensitive register of modern anxieties about subjectivity and its portrayal in literary works.
This book is a comprehensive examination of the conception, perception, performance, and composition of time in music across time and culture. It surveys the literature of time in mathematics, philosophy, psychology, music theory, and somatic studies (medicine and disability studies) and looks ahead through original research in performance, composition, psychology, and education. It is the first monograph solely devoted to the theory of construction of musical time since Kramer in 1988, with new insights, mathematical precision, and an expansive global and historical context. The mathematical methods applied for the construction of musical time are totally new. They relate to category theory (projective limits) and the mathematical theory of gestures. These methods and results extend the music theory of time but also apply to the applied performative understanding of making music. In addition, it is the very first approach to a constructive theory of time, deduced from the recent theory of musical gestures and their categories. Making Musical Time is intended for a wide audience of scholars with interest in music. These include mathematicians, music theorists, (ethno)musicologists, music psychologists / educators / therapists, music performers, philosophers of music, audiologists, and acousticians.
Responding to the increasingly powerful presence of dystopian literature for young adults, this volume focuses on novels featuring a female protagonist who contends with societal and governmental threats at the same time that she is navigating the treacherous waters of young adulthood. The contributors relate the liminal nature of the female protagonist to liminality as a unifying feature of dystopian literature, literature for and about young women, and cultural expectations of adolescent womanhood. Divided into three sections, the collection investigates cultural assumptions and expectations of adolescent women, considers the various means of resistance and rebellion made available to and explored by female protagonists, and examines how the adolescent female protagonist is situated with respect to the groups and environments that surround her. In a series of thought-provoking essays on a wide range of writers that includes Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Roth, Marissa Meyer, Ally Condie, and Suzanne Collins, the collection makes a convincing case for how this rebellious figure interrogates the competing constructions of adolescent womanhood in late-twentieth- and early twenty-first-century culture.
The depiction of personal and collective suffering in modern Chinese novels differs significantly from standard Communist accounts and many Eastern and Western historical narratives. Writers such as Yu Hua, Su Tong, Wang Anyi, Mo Yan, Han Shaogong, Ge Fei, Li Rui, and Zhang Wei skew and scramble common conceptions of China's modern development, deploying avant-garde narrative techniques from Latin American and Euro-American modernism to project a surprisingly "un-Chinese" dystopian vision and critical view of human culture and ethics. The epic narratives of modern Chinese fiction make rich use of magical realism, surrealism, and unusual treatments of historical time. Also featuring graphic depictions of sex and violence, as well as dark, raunchy comedy, these novels reflect China's recent history re-presenting the overthrow of the monarchy in the early twentieth century and the resulting chaos of revolution and war; the recurring miseries perpetrated by class warfare during the dictatorship of Mao Zedong; and the social dislocations caused by China's industrialization and rise as a global power. This book casts China's highbrow historical novels from the late 1980s to the first decade of the twenty-first century as a distinctively Chinese contribution to the form of the global dystopian novel and, consequently, to global thinking about the interrelations of utopia and dystopia.
Winner of the Children’s Literature Association Edited Book Award From the jaded, wired teenagers of M.T. Anderson's Feed to the spirited young rebels of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, the protagonists of Young Adult dystopias are introducing a new generation of readers to the pleasures and challenges of dystopian imaginings. As the dark universes of YA dystopias continue to flood the market,Contemporary Dystopian Fiction for Young Adults: Brave New Teenagers offers a critical evaluation of the literary and political potentials of this widespread publishing phenomenon. With its capacity to frighten and warn, dystopian writing powerfully engages with our pressing global concerns: liberty and self-determination, environmental destruction and looming catastrophe, questions of identity and justice, and the increasingly fragile boundaries between technology and the self. When directed at young readers, these dystopian warnings are distilled into exciting adventures with gripping plots and accessible messages that may have the potential to motivate a generation on the cusp of adulthood. This collection enacts a lively debate about the goals and efficacy of YA dystopias, with three major areas of contention: do these texts reinscribe an old didacticism or offer an exciting new frontier in children's literature? Do their political critiques represent conservative or radical ideologies? And finally, are these novels high-minded attempts to educate the young or simply bids to cash in on a formula for commercial success? This collection represents a prismatic and evolving understanding of the genre, illuminating its relevance to children's literature and our wider culture.
The Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literatures celebrates a literary genre already over 500 years old. Specially commissioned essays from established and emerging international scholars reflect the vibrancy of utopian vision, and its resiliency as idea, genre, and critical mode. Covering politics, environment, geography, body and mind, and social organization, the volume surveys current research and maps new areas of study. The chapters include investigations of anarchism, biopolitics, and postcolonialism and study film, art, and literature. Each essay considers central questions and key primary works, evaluates the most recent research, and outlines contemporary debates. Literatures of Africa, Australia, China, Latin America, and the Middle East are discussed in this global, cross-disciplinary, and comprehensive volume.