On 16 June 2016, the University of Nottingham held a workshop on the theme of "500 Years of Utopia" at the Hemsley Building to commemorate the anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's Utopia in 1516. The workshop was jointly funded by the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) and the Nottingham Centre for Normative Political Theory (CONCEPT). It was organised by Lucy Sargisson, Tony Burns and Ibtisam Ahmed from the School of Politics and IR, Samuel Cooper from the Department of American and Canadian Studies, and Diletta De Cristofaro from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.
The workshop was fortunate to welcome participants from the UK as well as online submissions from abroad. It was split into four sessions that took place across the day. The first and third sessions consisted of paper presentations of 20 minutes each, followed by a discussion with the rest of the attendees. The second session saw three dynamic presentations on the nature of utopianism based on submissions sent from participants at the Razi University in Iran as well as from students at the Daneshpazhoohan Secondary School in Iran. These contributions in particular were very exciting and promising as they showed the potential for academia to utilise communications technology to engage with audiences in different parts of the world – a technological utopia as it were! The fourth and final session was the keynote delivered by Professor Lawrence Wilde from Nottingham Trent University on "Thomas More's Utopia: Arguing for Social Justice".
As part of an international celebration of Utopia, the organisers were thrilled to be able to take part in a global conversation. We would like to thank the CSSGJ and CONCEPT for providing us the support to host such an initiative.
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