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Bell, David Martin
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
This thesis utilises the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze alongside theory from the field of 'utopian studies' in order to think through how the concepts of utopia and utopianism might be relevant in an age that seems to have given up on the future. It develops – and argues in favour of - a 'nomadic utopianism', which proceeds through non-hierarchical organisation, maximises what Deleuze calls 'difference-in-itself and creates new forms of living as it proceeds. From this, nomadic utopias are produced, meaning that the relationship between utopianism and utopia IS inverted, such that the former is ontologically prior to the latter. I show how such an approach maintains an etymological fidelity to the concept of utopia as 'the good place that is no place'. I also develop the concept of 'state utopianism', in which a utopian vision functions as a 'perfect', transcendent lack orienting political organisation to its realisation and reproduction. I argue that this is a dystopian politics, and consequently that the state utopia is a dystopia. Contrary to received wisdom - which sees today's 'capitalist realism' as anti-utopian – I argues that the contemporary world can be seen as a state utopia in which 'there is no alternative'. This makes utopia a central force in contemporary ideology.\ud These two forms should not be seen simply as opposites, however, and this thesis also shows how nomadic utopias can ossify into state utopias through the emergence of tyrannies of habit. These theoretical concepts are then applied to works of utopian and dystopian literature (Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, Albert Meister's The so-called utopia of the centre beaubourg and Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed); and the practices of 'musicking' (with a focus on the symphony orchestra and collective improvisation) and education. It is hoped that this will offer a new way of theorising utopia and utopianism, as well as generating a productive political approach from the thought of Gilles Deleuze, and contributing to debates on the political function of musical and educational practice.
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    • 2 Stephen Duncombe points to 'Postcards from the Future', an exhibition held at the Museum of London from October 2010 to March 2011. This depicted a series of post-climate change Londons by illustrators Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. In them, the city is shown flooded like Venice; the Gherkin is used as a high-density tower-block for refugees from the equitorial lands where there is insufficient food; there are paddy fields in Parliament Square; and there are slums around Buckingham Palace. John Cunningham, meanwhile, cites the popularity of Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre's The Ruins of Detroit: a lavish coffee-table book of photographs of abandoned affluence in the American city; the television series Life After People, which depicts a world left to nature following the extinction of humankind; and the huge number of Flickr groups dedicated to photographs depicting industrial decay.
    • 9 Examples of spaces that have - fairly or not - been colloquially named as utopias for exhibiting some or all of these characteristics include the spaces created by social movements in Latin America (Motta and Nielsen, 2011); squats (Cattaneo and Gavaldà, 2010); music festivals (Larsen and O'Reilly, 2008; Larsen and Hussels, 2011), the occupations of the Occupy movement (Gilbert, 2012), the anarcho-communist Spanish town of Marinaleda (Hancox, 2012), and anarchist social centres (Finchett-Maddock, 2008). I give further examples related to the performance of music in Chapters Four and education in Chapter Five.
    • Blanchot, Maurice (2006) 'The Proper use of Science Fiction', Arena Journal, 25/26, pp.375-394 Bloch, Ernst (1976) 'Dialectics and Hope', New German Critique, 9, pp.3-10 Bloch, Ernst (1986) The Principle of Hope, trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice and Paul Knight, Cambridge: MIT Press, Three Volumes
    • Bloch, Ernst (1988) The Utopian Function of Art and Literature: Selected Essays, trans. Jack Zipes and Franck Mecklenburg, Cambridge: MIT Press
    • Bogue, Ronald (2011) 'Deleuze and Guattari and the Future of Politics: Science Fiction, Protocols and the People to Come', Deleuze Studies, 5: 2011 supplement, pp.77-97
    • Boler, Megan and Zembylas, Michalinos (2003) 'Discomforting Truths: The Emotional Terrain of Understanding Difference' in Peter Pericles Trifonas, ed. Pedagogies of Difference: Rethinking Education for Social Justice, London: RoutledgeFarmer, pp.107-130
    • Bonds, Mark Evan (2006) Music as Thought: Listening to the Symphony in the Age of Beethoven, Princeton: Princeton University Press
    • Cowden, Stephen (2010) 'The moment of critical pedagogy' in Sarah Amsler, Joyce E. Canaan, Stephen Deleuze, Gilles (1995) Negotiations, 1972-1990, trans. Martin Joughin, Columbia University Press Deleuze, Gilles (2001) 'Dualism, Monism and Multiplicities (Desire-Pleasure-Jouissance)', in Contretemps, 2, pp.92-108
    • Deleuze, Gilles (2005a) Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life, trans. Anne Boyman, New York: Zone Books Deleuze, Gilles (2005b) Cinema 2: The Time Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta, London: Continuum
    • Deleuze, Gilles (2007) Two Regimes of Madness: Texts and Interviews 1975-1995, Cambridge: MIT Press Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix (1994) What is Philosophy?, trans. Graham Burchell and Hugh Tomlinson, London: Verso
    • Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix (2004a) Anti-Oedipus, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, Helen R. Lane, London: Continuum
    • Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix (2004b) A Thousand Plateuas, trans. Brian Massumi, London: Continuum
    • Deleuze, Gilles and Negri, Antonio (1990) 'Control and Becoming: Gilles Deleuze in Conversation with Antonio Negri', trans. Martin Joughin, online at http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpdeleuze3.htm [accessed 20/3/2012]
    • Deleuze, Gilles and Parnet, Claire (1987) Dialogues, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, London: The Athlone Press
    • Deleuze, Gilles and Parnet, Claire (2007) Dialogues II, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, New York: University of Columbia Press
    • de Mattis, Leon (2011) 'What is Communisation', SIC International Journal for Communisation, 1, pp.11-28 Del Guidice, Luisa, eds., (2001) Imagined States: Nationalism, Utopia and Longing in Oral Cultures, Logan: Utah State University Press
    • Foucault, Michel (1979) Discipline and Punish, trans. A.M. Sheridan, London: Penguin Hatherley, Owen (2009) 'Soi-distant Utopie', online at
    • http://nastybrutalistandshort.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/soi-disant-utopie.html (accessed 13/3/2012) Jorgensen, Darren (2009) 'On Failure and Revolution in Utopian Fiction and Science Fiction of the 1960s and 1970s', Colloquy: Text, Theory, Critique, 17, pp.6-15
    • Jun, Nathan (2007) 'Deleuze, Derrida, and Anarchism', Anarchist Studies, 15(2), pp.132-156 Kamoche, K. and Cunha, M.P. (2008) 'Improvisation and Knowledge: The challenge of appropriation, Management Research, 6, pp.93-106.
    • Kane, Liam (2000) 'Popular Education and the Landless People's Movement in Brasil (MST)', Studies in the Education of Adults, 32 (1), pp.36-50
    • Kane, Liam (2012) 'Forty Years of Popular Education in Latin America: Lessons for Social Movements' in Hall, B.L., Clover, D.E., Crowther, J. and Scandrett, E., eds., Learning and Education for a Better World: The Role of Social Movements, Rotterdam: Sense
    • Karamessini, Maria (2012) 'Sovereign Debt Crisis: an opportunity to complete the neoliberal project and dismantle the Greek employment model', in S. Lehndorff, ed. A Triumph of Failed Ideas: European Models of Capitalism in Crisis, Brussels: European Trade Union Initiative, pp.135-162 'Rethinking Schools', http://rethinkingschools.org [accessed 14/1/2013]
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