Race and utopian desire in American literature and society

Patricia Ventura, Edward K. Chan

Research output: Book/ReportBook

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction Bringing together a variety of scholarly voices, this book argues for the necessity of understanding the important role literature plays in crystallizing the ideologies of the oppressed, while exploring the necessarily racialized character of utopian thought in American culture and society. Utopia in everyday usage designates an idealized fantasy place, but within the interdisciplinary field of utopian studies, the term often describes the worldviews of non-dominant groups when they challenge the ruling order. In a time when white supremacy is reasserting itself in the US and around the world, there is a growing need to understand the vital relationship between race and utopia as a resource for resistance. Utopian literature opens up that relationship by envisioning and negotiating the prospect of a better future while acknowledging the brutal past. The collection fills a critical gap in both literary studies, which has largely ignored the issue of race and utopia, and utopian studies, which has said too little about race.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages300
ISBN (Electronic)9783030194703
ISBN (Print)9783030194697
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • American society and utopia
  • American utopian literature
  • Blackness and utopia
  • Critical race studies
  • Race and utopia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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