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The Australian National University

Utopia 500

Presenter: Alexis Wright; Peter Singer; Russell Jacoby; Jacqueline Dutton
Event date: 
6–7.30pm 28 March 2017
Venue: National Library of Australia

Thomas More wrote a book, coined a word… and changed the worldSince then, Utopia has beckoned to dreamers, thinkers, and critics everywhere. It has appealed to the best in us. But it has also drawn out the worst in us. And 500 years after its first publication, utopia seems as far off as ever.

A new collaboration between the ABC, the ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities, the ANU Gender Institute and the National Library, this exciting event features Alexis Wright, Miles Franklin award-winning novelist and indigenous activist; Peter Singer, the most wide-ranging and influential philosopher in the world today; and two leading experts in utopian thought and history, Russell Jacoby (UCLA); and Jacqueline Dutton (Melbourne).

Join Paul Barclay from ABC’s Big Ideas unit as he explores the issues with four renowned public intellectuals from Australia and abroad. Together, they will discuss the role —or absence—of imagination and aspiration in how we address the vital issues that confront Australian society in the 21st century.

Short-term cycles dominate our media; pragmatic thinking dominates our politics. Is there any place left for utopian thinking, in Australia in 2017? Is such a shift possible – or even desirable?  Is it too late to dream, or are we destined for a nightmare future? Be part of the live audience for this broadcasting event, and find out.

Book your tickets now: the future comes faster than you expect.

(Image: Étienne-Louis Boullée, Cénotaphe de Newton (1784). Représentation de nuit avec un effet de jour à l'intérieur. Image courtesy of Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Updated:  7 November, 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute