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January 12, 2017

Screening Room, South Wing, Somerset House

Imagining the Perfect World: Utopias in Cities and Fiction

Five hundred years since its first publication, Thomas More’s Utopia remains astonishingly radical and provocative

Hovering between fantasy, satire, blueprint and game, Thomas More imagines an island nation where thousands live in peace and harmony, men and women are both educated, and property is communal. But there has always been a shadow at the heart of Utopia. In an increasingly unsettled world, can the contradictions of Utopia help us chart a different path?

To celebrate the quincentenary edition of More's Utopia, published by Verso and Somerset House, Matt Beaumont and Gillian Darley explore how Utopia continues to inspire, and how utopia informs our visions of urban space and fictive possibilities.

Matthew Beaumont is a Professor of English Literature at UCL and the author of Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London and two books about utopian literature.

Gillian Darley is a writer, broadcaster, historian and architectural campaigner. Her seminal book Villages of Vision: A Study of Strange Utopias is published by Five Leaves Publications

Tickets £5, available here

7.00pm – 8.30pm

Screening Room, South Wing, Somerset House

Strand
London, WC2R 1LA United Kingdom

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