Upcoming Events


  • Virtual Event recommendations
  • Film
  • Lecture
  • Book Club
  • Exhibition
  • Performance
  • Conference
  • Panel Discussion
  • Roundtable Discussion
  • Film Series
  • Inspiration
  • French Culture Chez Vous
Upcoming Events
  • September 2022
  • October 2022
  • November 2022
  • December 2022
  • January 2023
  • February 2023
  • April 2023
Past Events
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006

Sep 28

SEP 28

6:15 PM–8:45 PM


Critical Theoretic Foundations for Concrete Utopias

6:15 PM–8:45 PM    Maison Française, Buell Hall, East Gallery


Critical Theoretic Foundations for Concrete Utopias

A lecture by Etienne Balibar


Étienne Balibar will open the inaugural session of Utopia 1/13 with a lecture and a conversation with Bernard E. Harcourt

This event will be live streamed online here

In his lecture, “Uncovering lines of escape: towards a concept of concrete utopia in the age of catastrophes,” the philosopher Étienne Balibar will touch on three dimensions of the urgency of rethinking concrete utopias in these times of crises: first, Balibar will discuss the dilemmas surrounding the concept of utopia and utopian thinking, without which there could be no “radical” politics, but at a time and in an age of at least two major catastrophes (the climate, and the digital); second, Balibar will explore “real” or “concrete” utopias in light of the Foucauldian distinction between “utopias” and “heterotopias,” which could also be interpreted as a conversion of utopia into heterotopias; third, Balibar will then conclude on the transcendental problems of the different modalities of the “possible,” the “impossible,” the “necessary,” the “inevitable,” in their relationship to a concept of time (e.g. Bloch’s time of “not-yet”), as displaced by the questioning of “utopia” in today’s catastrophic circumstances.

Etienne Balibar and Bernard E. Harcourt will read and discuss:

Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1847)

Ernst Bloch, The Spirit of Utopia (1918)

Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias” (1967/1984)

Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future (2005)

Zapatista Army of National Liberation, Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandonia (2005)

Erik Olin Wright, Envisioning Real Utopias (Verso 2010)

and Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (2013)

(all readings available on-line here)

Critical Theoretic Foundations for Concrete Utopias