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Lucy Sargisson

Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Lucy Sargisson is Professor of Utopian Studies in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. She is a pioneer and advocate for the study of utopianism in the social sciences. Her work crosses many disciplines, always asking 'What's wrong with the world and how could we make it a better place?' and 'What's wrong with our society and what might happen if we don't change things?'

Lucy is an active member of the profession, serving on the Steering Group of the Utopian Studies Society and, as part of her ongoing commitment to the research of intentional communities, she is a member of the CoHousing UK's Research Network. She is part of the team organizing the ESRC Seminar Series, 'Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience': http://collaborativehousing.net/about/.

She is Secretary of the Political Studies Association's 'Politics of Property' Specialist Group and an editor of two PSA journals: Political Studies and Political Studies Review. She is also a member of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at Nottingham and CONCEPT, Nottingham's Political Theory Centre.

Expertise Summary

I work on political utopias and utopianism. This includes eutopias (visions of a good society) and dystopias (nightmare scenarios about the future). It includes imaginary explorations of utopianism and also lived experiments. For example my research has included publications about religious fundamentalism, alternative lifestyles, intentional communities and feminist and environmentalist theories.

Much of my teaching draws on my research and I offer modules on the following topics:

Political Utopianism (Level III)

Feminist Political Theory (Level III)

I also teach on the following team taught modules:

Democracy and Its Critics (Level II)

Ideas in Revolution (Level I)

Ideas in Conflict (Level I)

Research Summary

My most recent book is 'Fools' Gold? Utopianism in the Twenty-First Century ( 2012, Palgrave Macmillan). Here I consider a number of different aspects of utopian thought and activity in our time, as… read more

Recent Publications

  • LYMAN TOWER SARGENT AND LUCY SARGISSON, 2014. Sex in Utopia:: Eutopian and Dystopian Sexual Relations’ Utopian Studies. 25(2), 299-320
  • 2014. Utopianism in the Architecture of New Urbanism and Cohousing. In: Green Utopianism:: Perspectives, Politics and Micro-Practices Routledge.
  • SARGISSON, L., 2012. Second-wave cohousing: a modern Utopia? Utopian Studies. 23(1), 28-56
  • SARGISSON, L., 2012. Fool’s gold?: utopianism in the twenty-first century Palgrave Macmillan.

Current Research

My most recent book is 'Fools' Gold? Utopianism in the Twenty-First Century ( 2012, Palgrave Macmillan). Here I consider a number of different aspects of utopian thought and activity in our time, as manifested in architecture, theory, fiction and social experimentation. The book addresses such themes as religion, climate change, the internet, architecture and politics.

I am currently involved in three long-term projects, all of which involve the study of utopias and utopianism.

The first is an ESRC seminar series with partners in five other UK universities and the UK Cohousing Network: 'Collaborative Communities and Community Resilience': http://collaborativehousing.net/about/.

The second is a book collaboration with Professor Lyman Tower Sargent, 'Everyday Life in Utopia'. This is a wide-ranging study of everyday life in utopian fiction, theory and social experiments.

The third is a long-term research project on practical utopian alternatives to private property.

Past Research

ESRC funded Seminar Series, 'Practical Utopias and Utopian Practices'. This was an exciting collaborative project with Professor Ruth Levitas (University of Bristol) and Professor Davina Cooper (University of Kent) and, in the course of five meetings of a period of two years, we encouraged academics and practitioners to consider utopian experiments with property, values, relationships and ontology, citizenship and space.

Previous books include a country-wide survey of intentional communities in New Zealand, funded by the British Academy and University of Nottingham, which forms part of an international collaborative project with Professor Lyman Tower Sargent at the University of Missouri USA. The manuscript based on this research 'Living in Utopia: New Zealand's Intentional Communities' was published by Ashgate in 2004.

  • LYMAN TOWER SARGENT AND LUCY SARGISSON, 2014. Sex in Utopia:: Eutopian and Dystopian Sexual Relations’ Utopian Studies. 25(2), 299-320
  • 2014. Utopianism in the Architecture of New Urbanism and Cohousing. In: Green Utopianism:: Perspectives, Politics and Micro-Practices Routledge.
  • SARGISSON, L., 2012. Second-wave cohousing: a modern Utopia? Utopian Studies. 23(1), 28-56
  • SARGISSON, L., 2012. Fool’s gold?: utopianism in the twenty-first century Palgrave Macmillan.
  • SARGISSON, LUCY, 2012. A Democracy of all Nature: taking a utopian approach Politics. online early, 12
  • SARGISSON, L., 2010. Friends have all things in common: utopian property relations British Journal of Politics and International Relations. 12(1), 22-36
  • SARGISSON, L., 2009. Sustainability and the intentional community: green intentional communities. In: LEONARD, L. and BARRY, J., eds., The transition to sustainable living and practice Emerald. 171-192
  • LUCY SARGISSON, 2009. Reflections:: Can Utopianism Exist Without Intent? Journal for Cultural Research. 13(1), 89-94
  • SARGISSON, L., 2007. Religious fundamentalism and utopianism in the 21st century Journal of Political Ideologies. 12(3), 269-287
  • SARGISSON, L., 2007. Strange places: estrangement, utopianism, and intentional communities Utopian Studies. 18(3), 393-424
  • SARGISSON, LUCY, 2007. Imperfect Utopias: Green Intentional Communities Ecopolitics. 1(1), 1-24
  • SARGISSON, L., 2007. The Curious Relationship Between Politics and Utopia. In: MOYLAN, T and BACCOLINI, R., eds., Utopia Method Vision:: the use value of social dreaming Peter Lang. 25-46
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 2005. Why utopia matters. In: Why Utopia Matters: Politics and Theory
  • SARGISSON, L.M. and SARGENT, L.T., 2004. Living in Utopia: New Zealand's intentional communities Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • SARGISSON, L., 2004. Justice Inside utopia? The case of intentional communities in New Zealand Contemporary Justice Review. 7(3), 321-333
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 2004. Riverside Community
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 2003. Utopia in Dark Times: Optimism/Pessimism and Utopia/Dystopia. In: Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination Routledge, London and New York.
  • SARGISSON, L., 2003. Surviving conflict: New Zealand's intentional communities New Zealand Sociology. 18(2), 225-250
  • SARGISSON, L., 2001. Politicising the quotidian Environmental Politics. 10(2), 68-89
  • SARGISSON, L., 2001. What's Wrong with Ecofeminism? Environmental Politics. VOL 10(PART 1), 52-64
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 2000. Utopian Bodies and the Politics of Transgression Routledge, London and New York.
  • SARGISSON, L., 2000. Green Utopias of Self and Other Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. VOL 3(NUMB 2/3), 140-156
  • SARGISSON, L., 2000. Utopian Bodies and the Politics of Transgression Routledge, London and New York.
  • SARGISSON, L., 1997. Contemporary Feminist Utopianism: The Equality/Difference Dilemma CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL STUDIES -BELFAST- POLITICAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. VOL 1, 272-282
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 1997. Review of To Write Like a Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction by Joanna Russ Utopian Studies. 8(1), 324-326
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 1996. Contemporary Feminist Utopianism Routledge, London and New York.
  • SARGISSON, L.M., 1996. Contemporary Feminist Utopianism Routledge, London and New York.
  • SARGISSON, L., 1996. Contemporary Feminist Utopianism: Practising Utopia on Utopia. In: Literature and the Political Imagination Routledge, London and New York. 238-55

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