Science Fiction Studies

#107 = Volume 36, Part 1 = March 2009

Peter Fitting

A Short History of Utopian Studies

Utopian scholarship is in the state of most sciences in the nineteenth century when better description was the basis of building toward more effective understandings of the phenomena being studied.—Lyman Tower Sargent, “Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited” (3)

1. Introduction. There are evident links between science fiction and utopia, although the former term only came into general usage in the middle of the twentieth century, while “utopia” dates back to More’s classic (although as we shall see, the term only came to refer to a genre of literature in the nineteenth century). In the 1950s, such utopian scholars as Glen Negley and J. Max Patrick were dismissive of the role of science fiction in utopian literature, although utopian and dystopian currents have always been important to science fiction.1 By the 1970s, however, there was a revival of utopian writing in English, particularly in the United States, most of it published as science fiction and much of it written by sf writers.2               

Utopian studies—like utopia itself—found a new life with the revival of utopianism in the 1970s—most obviously following the general social upheaval of the 1960s, which contributed to efforts to understand better radical traditions and alternative visions, particularly in a US in which the Cold War and McCarthyism had nearly silenced a generation of activists.3 In fact, the revival of utopian writing was in many ways made possible by science fiction, for as non-realistic fiction, as a genre of fiction that in many instances was set in or on imagined worlds and futures, science fiction provided a way to imagine and describe alternatives to an inadequate present. Today the utopian project of finding a different way of organizing social reality seems more vital than ever, and to that end I will offer here a brief review of the constitution and development of utopia as a field of study.4               

As Lucian Hölscher argued in 1990:

The creation of the literary generic concept “utopia” is a complex process which has until today eluded complete explanation. A reconstruction demands distinguishing between the formation of the literary genre itself and the adaptation of the term “Utopie” to it. (7)

Hölscher’s article “Utopie” is an account of that reconstruction, a tripartite “history of the concept” that includes “the history of the literary genre ... the history of its use in ... language and finally the history of theoretical reflection on the concept of utopia” (1). I am primarily interested in the third of those concerns here.                

The first steps in the development of utopia as a field of study emerged long before there was a journal called Utopian Studies or conferences on utopia, in those instances in which the object of study itself came to be acknowledged as a specific genre, rather than as simply part of a larger category such as the “Imaginary Voyage” or the philosophical novel. There are numerous studies of More’s Utopia (1516), for instance, but at what moment did commentators acknowledge it as part of a genre? Similarly, there are numerous studies of the Imaginary Voyage, but at what point were narratives of the discovery and description of a utopian land acknowledged as a specific genre its own right?

2. Prehistory: The Origins of Utopian Studies. There are some obvious places to look for acknowledgments of utopia as a genre, first of all in introductions and prefaces to works that we now consider utopias. In the 36 volumes of the late eighteenth-century anthology of imaginary voyages edited by Charles-Georges-Thomas Garnier—“Les Voyages imaginaires, Songes, Visions et Romans cabalistiques” (Imaginary Voyages, Dreams, Visions, and Cabalistic Novels, 1787-89)—the term “utopia” does not appear. Instead, the editor calls Ludvig Holberg’s The Voyage of Niels Klim to the World Underground an “allegory” (Vol 19, xv); while in the preface to Denis Veiras’s 1681 Histoire des Sévarambes (History of the Sevarambes), Garnier labels that work an “imaginary voyage,” classing it “among our best philosophical and moral novels” (“Avertissement,” vol 5, vii). Veiras’s own introduction to his utopia, however, begins with an interesting caution:

Those who have read Plato’s Republic or the Utopia of Thomas More or Chancellor Bacon’s New Atlantis, which are in fact nothing more than the ingenious inventions [“imaginations”] of these authors, may think perhaps that this account of newly discovered countries, with all their marvels, is of a similar type [“sont de ce genre”]. (Vol 5, xi; my translation)

Rather than situating his own work in the lineage of these classic predecessors, Veiras attempts to distinguish it from that tradition, insisting that, unlike those “inventions,” this account is in fact true, and that it will fill in the general lack of knowledge about the “austral lands” (Vol 5, xv). Pointing out that it has “all the characteristics of a true story,” Veiras then turns to an explanation of how he came by the document. Although such cautions are typical of the period and found in many imaginary voyages, what is notable here is the situation of the manuscript alongside three well-known works which we now consider fundamental instances of the utopian canon—a juxtaposition that certainly suggests an awareness of the similarities of what will come to be called utopias, even as Veiras distinguishes this work from those earlier texts.                

Another way of tracking the emergence of the utopian as a discrete object can be found in the existence of studies of utopian writing. Lucian Hölscher considers that in France, “Louis Reybaud was one of the first [in 1849] to point out [the] intellectual relationship of [the socialist movements in France and Germany] to the political novels of Plato, More and others ...” (Hölscher 13); Hölscher cites Robert von Mohl’s 1845 essay “Die Staats-Romane” (The State Novels) as the beginning in Germany of the “real study of utopias within the history of literature” (14).5 In English, on the other hand, John Dunlop’s History of Fiction (1814) deals with utopias, but “under such traditional terms as ‘Romance,’ ‘Voyages imaginaires,’ etc. and not grouped together as a distinct genre” (Hölscher 13).6               

In his annotated bibliography The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, Philip Gove discusses a series of articles by James T. Presley in the 1870s that attempt to reply to a request for “information about works similar to More’s Utopia” (Gove 75).7 Over a four-year period Presley produced a list of 97 titles, as well as an elementary classification system that is worth quoting in full:

1. “Utopias” proper; works which describe an ideal state of society, according to the notions which the author may entertain of what political and social conditions it is probable or desirable that the human race should hereafter attain to.
2. Those which satirize, under feigned names, the manners, customs, pursuits, and follies of the age or nation in which the writer lives.
3. Those which pretend to give a somewhat reasonable account of the possible or probable future state of society or course of historical events, either near at hand or in remote ages.
4. Those which, merely for the sake of amusement, or sometimes for the purpose of travestying the wonderful adventures related by actual travelers in remote regions, profess to recount travels or adventures in imaginary countries or inaccessible worlds, in which generally the most extravagant fancy runs riot. (Presley, “Bibliography of Utopias and Imaginary Travels and Histories,” qtd. in Gove 76)

Early in the twentieth century, one of the first studies of utopia in English that uses the term in its title is Joyce Hertzler’s 1923 The History of Utopian Thought.8 Although he considers a number of literary utopias, his Preface makes no mention of literature, continuing the blurring of literary and non-literary genres, a practice that has characterized the study of utopia until recently.

This book embodies two related and yet distinct types of sociological endeavor. It is a study in the history of social thought ... and attempts to give an historical cross-section of representative Utopian thought. But it is also a study in social idealism, a study in the origin, selection and potency of those social ideas and ideals that occasionally men conceive, with particular emphasis upon their relation to social progress. (Hertzler v)

Despite the emphasis on “social thought,” Hertzler mixes prophets, social dreamers, and utopian authors and planners rather indiscriminately. He begins his historical review of “social utopias” with the “Ethico-Religious Utopians,” from the Prophets through Jesus and Augustine, before turning to more familiar texts such as Plato’s Republic (c.380 BCE) and More’s Utopia, as well as Bacon’s New Atlantis (1626) and Campanella’s City of the Sun (1623). Then, after chapters discussing various utopian thinkers, including a chapter on the “utopian socialists” from Morelly to Cabet, St. Simon, Fourier, and Owen, as well as a brief look at Bellamy and the Wells of A Modern Utopia (1905), he turns to “An Analysis and Critique” of Social Utopias. Here is Hertzler’s definition:

The very essence of the various Utopias [described here] was the delineation of the means whereby the writer’s vision of social perfection is to be realized. This spirit of hope expressing itself in definite proposals and stimulating action, we have called “Utopianism,” meaning thereby the role of the conscious human will in suggesting a trend of development for society, or the unconscious alignment of society in conformity with some definite ideal. We may also think of it in its working out as the realization in life of ideals that prompts men eventually and yet unconsciously, to make them real; they breathe a spirit which gives hope, and encourages action. (268)

Another way of tracking the emergence of the utopian as a genre following from the preceding examples lies in the gradual establishment of a utopian canon. In addition to Presley’s attempt to find “works similar to More’s Utopia” or the works studied by Hertzler, this development manifests itself in the publication of anthologies devoted to utopias, of which the first in English is probably Glenn Negley and J. Max Patrick’s 1952 The Quest for Utopia: An Anthology of Imaginary Societies. Negley and Patrick divide their anthology into two sections. The first, “Modern Utopias: 1850-1950,” begins with excerpts from Ignatius Donnelly’s Caesar’s Column (1890) and ends with H.G. Wells’s  A Modern Utopia (1905). After a brief section entitled “Classical Utopias: 900 B.C.-200 B.C.,” the editors turn to “Utopias from 1500 to 1850,” beginning with More and continuing through most of the classics, and ending with Cabet’s A Voyage to Icaria (1845). There is finally a short ten-page chapter on “Contemporary Utopian Thought” followed by a “utopian fragment” written by a student in 1947.9

3. The 1960s and After. As I stated at the beginning of this overview, the 1960s—particularly in the English-speaking world—saw a vigorous revival in utopian writing, and concomitantly, in the study of the genre. Today the study of utopianism involves a considerable range of scholarly activities, from articles, books, and bibliographies to the founding of library collections, learned societies, journals, and centers. In 1964, for instance (to cite one of the earliest examples), Glen Negley (the co-editor of The Quest for Utopia) donated the first books of what would become the Glen Negley Collection of Utopian Literature at the Duke University Library. Lyman Tower Sargent published the first version of his “Three Faces of Utopianism” in 1967 and the first version of his bibliography, British and American Utopian Literature, in 1979. The first version of Darko Suvin’s influential “Estrangement and Cognition” was published in 1972, and his “Defining the Literary Genre of Utopia” in 1973, while Robert Elliott’s influential The Shape of Utopia was published in 1970. Finally, Carol Farley Kessler’s “Bibliography of Utopian Fiction by United States Women” was first published in 1984; an updated version was published in the inaugural issue of Utopian Studies in 1990. The Society for Utopian Studies was founded in 1975, while its European counterpart—the Utopian Studies Society—was founded in 1988. There are also a number of research centers, including the Center for Utopian Studies at the University of Bologna, the Interdepartmental Center for Utopian Studies at the University of Lecce, and the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies at the University of Limerick. These are all signs of the emergence of the study of utopia as a full-fledged academic field over the past decades.10               

As Lyman Tower Sargent has repeatedly pointed out, the study of utopianism has been hindered by the “use of a single dimension to explain a multi-dimensional phenomenon” (“Three Faces” 4). Instead, it is important to distinguish the different uses to which the concept of the utopian is put so that it can be understood and discussed in a more systematic fashion. Sargent stresses that there are three aspects of utopianism that should be distinguished from one another and clearly defined: the literary (to which could be added other artistic representations and imaginings of alternatives), the communitarian, and utopian social theory (“Three Faces” 4).   

Certainly these different aspects of utopianism seem at times to be linked, and one might summarize that complex interrelationship as the formulation of utopian ideas and projects, as well as their expression in literature and attempts to realize these ideals concretely. Critics have examined, for instance, how much Cabet’s or Fourier’s utopian schemes were realized in their respective colonies (Nauvoo, La Réunion, etc.); or how much this or that literary utopia is the expression or manifestation of particular utopian ideals or theories. But Sargent’s tripartite distinction is an essential step in the renewal and progress of utopian studies, an essential part of the clearing of the underbrush in what Darko Suvin famously called a “genological jungle.”                

The crucial first step in the modern study of utopia was, of course, the definitional one. Important initial work was undertaken by Darko Suvin and Lyman Tower Sargent in particular, both of whose definitions were based on a careful survey of existing definitions. Darko Suvin’s formulation is the most comprehensive in its review of earlier definitions, although he makes no reference per se to the political features of the utopia; instead he “confine[s] [his] consideration [to] utopia as a literary genre” (38; emphasis in original). He defends this decision by arguing that “In the last twenty years [i.e., since 1953], at least in literary criticism and theory, the premise has become acceptable that utopia is first of all a literary genre or fiction” (46). Here is Suvin’s definition:

Utopia is the verbal construction of a particular quasi-human community where sociopolitical institutions, norms, and individual relationships are organized according to a more perfect principle than in the author’s community.... (49)

Sargent basically accepts Suvin’s definition (with a few small cavils), but his “Three Faces” is addressed to the entire field of utopian studies insofar as it goes beyond the literary to clarify and distinguish two other essential areas of the utopian: communitarianism and utopian social theory. Sargent defines communitarianism in terms of “intentional societies”: “A group of five or more adults and their children, if any, who come from more than one nuclear family and who have chosen to live together to enhance their shared values or for some other mutually agreed upon purpose” (“Three Faces” 15). This aspect of utopianism is the most straightforward (although it sets the threshold for a utopian community somewhat lower than what we might expect). As Sargent points out, existing definitions of communitarianism have usually been based on the study of a specific community, “but most are too specific to include what we know to be the range of institutions actually established. They generally assume a particular model to be the only model” (“Three Faces” 14). Moreover, because such communities almost always have written rules or are based on specific writings, there is usually a connection between them and the literary utopia, as Sargent has argued elsewhere.11               

Sargent sets the second of his categories—utopian social theory—within the history of the idea of progress. Sargent then looks at what he considers the most important current of early twentieth-century utopian social thought, which he sums up in Hans Vaihinger’s “theory of fictions”—that utopian thought “is a form of fictive activity” (“Three Faces” 22).12 Using this approach, Sargent argues that we can find a defense of the necessity for utopia in the work of Karl Mannheim and Frederick Polak in their contention that “our images of the future help to shape our actual future” (27). Sargent also points out, however, that there are a number of philosophical and political currents that critique the idea of utopianism (e.g., Karl Popper). Of the three “faces,” this seems to be the area that needs the most development.                

Sargent’s third “face”—the literary utopia—brings us back to the area with which we are most familiar and certainly, since the utopian revival, the area that has attracted the most attention. This is also the most contentious area, since following the work of Ernst Bloch, the utopian impulse can seemingly be found everywhere, including in most literary works. Unfortunately this sometimes leads scholars to move from pointing out the utopian impulse in a particular work to claiming on this basis that the work is a utopia. The overly loose designation of works as utopias is far too common—hence the usefulness, if not the necessity, of clear distinctions and definitions.                

Sargent suggests two other areas for study, in the form of some further clarifications and precisions in defining the literary utopia. In the first place, he makes an interesting distinction (one that has been virtually ignored) between what he calls “body” and “city” utopias. The former are sometimes overlooked insofar as they are “achieved without human effort,” in contrast to the “city utopia,” which is “the utopia of human contrivance” (“Three Faces” 10-11). Secondly, he attempts to clarify some terminological confusion by distinguishing between “eutopia,” “utopia,” “dystopia,” and “anti-utopia.” The latter two terms in particular are sometimes used synonymously and given a variety of meanings. Here are his definitions:

Utopianism—social dreaming.
Utopia—a non-existent society described in considerable detail and normally located in time and space.
Eutopia or positive utopia—a non-existent society described in considerable detail and normally located in time and space that the author intended a contemporaneous reader to view as considerably better than the society in which that reader lived.
Dystopia or negative utopia—a non-existent society described in considerable detail and normally located in time and space that the author intended a contemporaneous reader to view as considerably worse than the society in which that reader lived.
Utopian satire—a non-existent society described in considerable detail and normally located in time and space that the author intended a contemporaneous reader to view as a criticism of that contemporary society.
Anti-utopia—a non-existent society described in considerable detail and normally located in time and space that the author intended a contemporaneous reader to view as a criticism of utopianism or of some particular eutopia.
Critical utopia—a non-existent society described in considerable detail and normally located in time and space that the author intended a contemporaneous reader to view as better than contemporary society but with difficult problems that the described society may or may not be able to solve and which takes a critical view of the utopian genre. (“Three Faces” 9)

4. The Dystopian Turn. While it is the revival of utopian writing in the 1970s that led to an equivalent revival in utopian studies, the first half of the twentieth century was dominated by what Tom Moylan calls the “literary utopia’s shadow” (Scraps 111)—the dystopia and the anti-utopia. In this context it is important to mention not only the renewal of interest in the dystopia in the 1980s (as the world became increasingly less utopian), but also the awareness, among a number of sf critics writing before the resurgence of utopian studies, of a strong pessimistic current in science fiction that reflected a larger resistance to technological advances and the better future implied in some of the genre’s inventions and visions (a reaction to the new reality of the Soviet Union as much as—in post-war writing—to the consequences of the use of the atom bomb against Japan). This can be seen in the focus—and the titles—of a number of important studies of science fiction written before the 1970s: Kingsley Amis’s New Maps of Hell (1960), Chad Walsh’s From Utopia to Nightmare (1962), and Mark Hillegas’s The Future as Nightmare (1967).            

The reexamination of the dystopia and the concept of the “critical dystopia” has been associated with the work of Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan, who co-edited an important collection, Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and The Dystopian Imagination (2003). In his earlier Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia (2000), Moylan writes: “Moving beyond the engaged utopianism of the 1970s and against the fashionable temptation to despair in the early 1980s, several sf writers turned to dystopian strategies as a way to come to terms with the changing, and enclosing, social reality” (186). He cites Baccolini’s definition of the critical dystopia “as texts that ‘maintain a utopian core’ and yet help ‘to deconstruct tradition and reconstruct alternatives’” (188).13           

Another area of recent research is the exploration and discovery of utopian literature and traditions outside the Christian West (which was the primary focus of utopian studies until the 1970s), in conjunction with attempts to understand utopianism in terms of historical moments and countries. Lyman Tower Sargent’s bibliographical work on English-language utopias led him to the discovery that such production was not uniform in the different English-speaking countries; from country-specific bibliographies, he has begun to look into the question of utopianism and national identity.14             

Another form of questioning and rethinking utopia is to be found in the work of Fredric Jameson. In a sense, the entire history of utopian studies flows from or is built on the link between ideas and their expression in literature as much as upon attempts to put these ideas into practice. Jameson does not question this connection; rather, he questions the assumption—if not the conviction—that the literary utopia is meant to be a representation of what the better society would look like: “at best Utopia can serve the negative purpose of making us more aware of our mental and ideological imprisonment ... [and] therefore the best Utopias are those that fail the most comprehensively” (xiii):

[I]t is a mistake to approach Utopias with positive expectations, as though they offered visions of happy worlds, spaces of fulfillment and cooperation, representations which correspond generically to the idyll or the pastoral rather than the utopia. Indeed, the attempt to establish positive criteria of the desirable society characterizes liberal political theory from Locke to Rawls, rather than the diagnostic interventions of the Utopians, which, like those of the great revolutionaries, always aim at the alleviation and elimination of the sources of exploitation and suffering, rather than at the composition of blueprints for bourgeois comfort. (12)

As can be seen from this brief sketch, the study of utopia has flourished in the last decades of the twentieth century. It has gone well beyond the question of definitions and the establishment of a canon (or of the study of an author, or new interpretations of More’s Utopia or Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four); it also tries to understand utopia’s relationships to its more negative cousins—dystopia and anti-utopia—and it asks questions about why they wax and wane, and why they prosper at particular moments and in particular countries.

I would like to thank Lyman Tower Sargent for his advice and encouragement.
                1. “The once and often suggestive field of utopian fantasy has been exploited, perhaps under the comic-book definition, into a bastard literary device known as ‘science fiction.’ This product bears about the same resemblance to utopian speculation that the tales of Horatio Alger bore to the economic theories of Adam Smith” (Negley and Patrick 588).
                2. There is not space in this essay to examine the specific relationship of these two genres. Darko Suvin has argued that, “precisely speaking, utopia is not a genre but the sociopolitical subgenre of science fiction. Paradoxically, it can be seen as such only now that SF has expanded into its modern phase, ‘looking backward’ from its englobing of utopia” (61; emphasis in original). Lyman Tower Sargent disagrees, admitting that while in “the current situation many utopias are published as science fiction, both historically and with utopianism treated as here, utopias are clearly the primary root” (“Three Faces” 11). For more on this debate, see Moylan’s Scraps of the Untainted Sky (77).
                3. I will raise the question of the relationship between historical events and literary utopias later in this essay. For a brief overview of this utopian revival, see my “‘So We All Became Mothers’: New Roles for Men in Recent Utopian Fiction.” See also Moylan’s Demand the Impossible.
                4. In defining a field such as Utopian Studies, there is a very useful precedent in the July 1999 special issue of SFS on “A History of Science Fiction Criticism,” particularly Arthur B. Evans’s “The Origins of Science Fiction Criticism: From Kepler to Wells” and Gary Westfahl’s “The Popular Tradition of Science Fiction Criticism, 1926-1980.” For this essay, I have relied on three important contributions to the history of utopian studies: Lucian Hölscher’s “Utopie” (originally published in German in 1990), Tom Moylan’s Scraps of the Untained Sky (2000), particularly chapter 3, and Lyman Tower Sargent’s pioneering essay, “The Three Faces of Utopia” (first published in 1967). See also Peter Stillman’s “Recent Studies in the History of Utopian Thought” and Toby Widdicombe’s “Early Histories of Utopian Thought (to 1950).”
                5. Toby Widdicombe gives the “laurels for writing the first history of utopianism ... to Henricus ab Ahlefeld, who in 1704 wrote a dissertation entitled Disputatio philosophica de fictis rebuspublicis as part of his studies at Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, Germany” (3). This work seems to have had little or no influence and has been dismissed by the few critics who are aware of its existence—until Widdicombe.
                6. Toby Widdicombe’s account of some “Early Histories of Utopian Thought (to 1950),” which covers some similar ground, refers to some of the same works covered by Lucian Hölscher’s “Utopie.” Widdicombe describes his own account as a “review” (and description) of twenty “early histories of utopianism,” rather than a study per se, while Hölscher more explicitly studies the emergence of the concept of utopia as an object of study in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
                7. Philip Gove’s The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction includes an “Annotated Checklist of 215 Imaginary Voyages from 1700 to 1800,” as well as a 185-page “History of Its Criticism and a Guide for Its Study” which could certainly serve as a model for what I intend to do here in a few pages. Gove’s “History” also includes an extended discussion of Garnier’s anthology.
                8. “To my knowledge [this] is the first book that attempts to give an unprejudiced, systematic treatment of the social Utopia as a whole” (Hertzler v). Hertzler does not seem to have been aware of Lewis Mumford’s The Story of Utopias, published in 1922, the year before his own study. Widdicombe gives a lengthy description of Mumford’s study (17-21), pointing to its weaknesses. I have accordingly focused here on Hertzler’s much less well known book. 
                9. As well as a number of forgotten utopias published between 1850 and 1950, Negley and Patrick include:

1871: Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Coming Race
1872: Samuel Butler, Erewhon
1875: Mark Twain, The Curious Republic of Gondour
1887: W.H. Hudson, A Crystal Age
1888: Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward
1890: Ignatius Donnelly, Caesar’s Column
          Theodore Hertzka, Freiland
           William Morris, News From Nowhere
1895: H.G. Wells, The Time Machine
1897: Edward Bellamy, Equality
1898: Paul Adam, Lettres de Malaisie
1903: Daniel Halevy, Histoire des Quatre Ans
1904: Gabriel Tarde, The Underground Man
1905: H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia
1907: Jack London, The Iron Heel
1908: Anatole France, Penguin Island
1909: Mark Twain, Extract from Capt. Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven
1914: H.G. Wells, The World Set Free
1923: H.G. Wells, Men Like Gods
1924: Eugene Zamiatin, We
1932: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
          Stephen Leacock, Afternoons in Utopia
1933: James Hilton, Lost Horizon
1942: Austin Wright, Islandia
1944: C.S. Lewis, Perelandra
1946: Franz Werfel, Star of the Unborn
1948: Stanton Coblentz, The Sunken World
          B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
1949: Robert Graves, Watch the North Wind Rise
          George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four
                10. There was, of course, scholarly work in utopian studies before the 1970s. As Kenneth Roemer has pointed out, papers on utopia have been presented almost yearly at the annual meetings of the Modern Language Association. See his “Petition for an MLA Discussion Group in Science Fiction, Utopian, and Fantastic Literature” (internal document, Modern Language Association, 20 February 1997).
                11. See his “Utopian Literature and Communitarian Experiments before Bellamy.”
                12. Hans Vaihinger was a German philosopher who proposed a theory of fiction in terms of the “as if” (from the title of his book originally published in 1911): while fictions are not “true,” they are useful because they enable us to cope with what would otherwise be the unmanageable complexity of things.
                13. The classic examples would include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and Marge Piercy’s He, She and It (1991).
                14. This research has been developed in the following articles, all of which have been pubished in Utopian Studies over the past decade: “Australian Utopian Literature: An Annotated, Chronological Bibliography, 1667-1999,” “Utopian Literature in English Canada: An Annotated, Chronological Bibliography, 1852-1999,” and “Utopianism and the Creation of New Zealand National Identity.”

Amis, Kingsley. New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction. New York: Harcourt, 1960.
Baccolini, Raffaella, and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2003.
*Donawerth, Jane L., and Carol A. Kolmerten, eds. Utopian and Science Fiction by Women: Worlds of Difference. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 1994.
*Elliott, Robert C. The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1970.
Evans, Arthur B. “The Origins of Science Fiction Criticism: From Kepler to Wells.” SFS 26.2 (July 1999): 163-86.
Fitting, Peter. “‘So We All Became Mothers’: New Roles for Men in Recent Utopian Fiction.” SFS 12.2 (July 1985): 156-83.
*Fortunati, Vita, and Raymond Trousson, eds. Dictionary of Literary Utopias. Paris: Honoré Champion,2000.
Garnier, Charles-Georges-Thomas, ed. Voyages imaginaires, Songes, Visions et Romans cabalistiques. 36 vols. Amsterdam: n.p., 1787-89. Available online at <>.
Gove, Philip Babcock. The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction. New York: Columbia UP, 1941.
Hertzler, Joyce. The History of Utopian Thought. 1923. New York: Cooper Square, 1965.
Hillegas, Mark. The Future as Nightmare: H.G. Wells and the Anti-Utopians. New York: Oxford UP, 1967.
Hölscher, Lucian. “Utopie.” 1990. Trans. Kirsten Petrak. Utopian Studies 7.2 (1996): 1-65.
Jameson, Fredric. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. London: Verso, 2005.
Kessler, Carol Farley. “Bibliography of Utopian Fiction by United States Women, 1836-1988.” Utopian Studies 1.1 (1990): 1-58.
*Levitas, Ruth. The Concept of Utopia.Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 1990.
Moylan, Tom. Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination. New York: Methuen, 1986.
─────. Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2000. 
Negley, Glen, and J. Max Patrick, eds. The Quest for Utopia: An Anthology of Imaginary Societies. New York: Henry Schuman, 1952.
*Parrinder, Patrick, ed. Learning from Other Worlds: Estrangement, Cognition, and the Politics of Science Fiction and Utopia. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2000.
*Pordzik, Ralph. The Quest for Postcolonial Utopia: A Comparative Introduction to the Utopian Novel in the New English Literatures. New York: Peter Lang, 2001.
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─────. “Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited.” Utopian Studies 5.1 (1994): 1-37.
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