Futures Imperfect


Utopias and Dystopias in South Asia

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to explore how utopic and dystopic visions shape subjectivities, geographies and texts in South Asia today.

Inspired by contemporary processes in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, we conceive of utopias and dystopias not as alternative worlds but as, in the words of Gordin, Tilley and Prakash, "conditions of historical possibility" which allow for the articulation of a diversity of experiences in the present.

We seek to shift attention from celebratory narratives such as "shining India" and the transnational novel, as well as from dystopic visions such as the "planet of slums" or Pakistan as a "failed state," to look at how futurity animates the contemporary - in life and in text.