Monday, February 15, 2016

[Upcoming Seminar] Utopian Communities: Making Better Worlds

Utopian Communities: Making Better Worlds

Speaker: Martin BOEWE (PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm, 19 Feb 2016 (Friday)  
Venue: Room 401, Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK


Members of utopian communities are engaged in transformation projects and have chosen the utopian community as a strategic place from which to improve their world. Three communities are presented in ethnographic detail: 1) Life Chanyuan in China, which has attempted to promote free-love and communism as a short-cut to heaven but was finally closed down by the state, 2) Christiania in Denmark, a political community standing for consensus democracy, the fight for freedom and urban space for all, a massive market for hashish, and a counter-cultural entertainment experience for visitors, and 3) Damanhur, the Italian esoteric community, whose members see themselves as warriors on a mission to rescue humankind. The analysis shows that all these utopian communities act as distorted mirrors of their societies and are historically specific to them. They all have a message to their respective society about how life could be better.


(A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm. First come first served.)

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