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Politics and IR students attend Barbican workshop on Utopias

21 March 2016

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School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) students attended a specially designed workshop at the Barbican centre in London this month.

Students taking the module Utopia and Dystopia: Political, Economic and Literary Dreamworlds, attended the “Utopia, Space, Architecture” workshop, along with Dr Arianna Bove and Professor James Dunkerley.

In fitting with the module’s theme, students left behind the classrooms of the Mile End Road and visited the richly endowed and microscopically designed Barbican Centre as well as the finely designed social housing of Camden’s Maiden Lane estate, designed by the same architects but left in a state of complete disrepair and being dwarfed by new, high-rise private real estate. Under the guidance of Awate Abdalla, Emma Ridgway and Penny Woolcock, students toured the Barbican in person, heard the voices of Thomas More at the Roundhouse’s Utopia installation of 2015, learned of the decomposition of a once comparable space in Maiden Lane, and discussed their own ideas for the social use of the Barbican Conservatory.

The module Utopia and Dystopia: Political, Economic and Literary Dreamworlds, is a joint course between School of Business Management (Arianna Bove) and the School of Politics and International Relations (James Dunkerley), with participation by the Barbican Centre. The module aims to provide a multi-disciplinary critical survey of utopian and dystopian thinking and writing in the modern era; to enhance student sensibility to both the precise historical context and the less chronologically-specific animating features of public dreamworlds; to question the loose and often pejorative use of the term “utopian” through appraisal and analysis so as to deepen appreciation of the varieties and critical potential of public and private imagination.

Click here to learn more about the many other modules offered at the School of Politics and International Relations

Photo by Susana Sanroman 

 

 

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