CFP: Utopia and Fashion

Utopia and Fashion – Special issue of Utopian Studies (28.3, 2017) 

Who: Utopian Studies, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of The Society for Utopian Studies, publishing scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects related to utopias, utopianism, utopian literature, utopian theory, and intentional communities. Contributing authors come from a diverse range of fields, including American studies, architecture, the arts, classics, cultural studies, economics, engineering, environmental studies, gender studies, history, languages and literatures, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology and urban planning. Each issue also includes dozens of reviews of recent books. Utopian Studies is published by Pennsylvania State University Press.

Submission guidelines: To submit your manuscript, please visit and create an author profile. The online system will guide you through the steps to upload your manuscript. Submissions must follow the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition, should be no more than 7000 words long, inclusive of citations and should include an abstract of max 200 words and a short biography. Please see the complete submission guidelines here. For further information or to discuss expressions of interest contact Mila Burcikova.
The deadline for submissions is 20 November 2016; accepted articles will be published in Utopian Studies 28.3, 2017.


Utopian Studies is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its special issue investigating the relationship between Utopia and Fashion.

Visions of more desirable alternatives to the status quo have occupied human minds for millennia and have taken on many forms. The term ‘utopia’, first coined by Thomas More, is widely associated with perfect worlds, places without conflict or scarcity. More’s 1516 description of Utopia, an imaginary island society in the Atlantic Ocean, exploited a pun on the Greek words ou-topos meaning ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere’ and eu-topos meaning a ‘good place’. Utopian thinking challenges our perception of reality and it is fuelled by desire – desire for a better life, desire for a world where our dreams come true.

Fashion, like utopia, is also permeated by desire. The work of fashion designers and fashion marketing specialists alike thrives on our constant desire for new, different, more attractive versions of ourselves. Fashion inspires and has the power to transform the way we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Yet, in fashion, like in utopia, the high ideals can often clash violently with reality. Black doesn’t always make us look slimmer and the exploitative stories behind our smart designer clothes are too often quite distressing.

How does utopian thinking feature in fashion? For example, could it have the power to reshape how we think about, produce and consume fashion in the future? Can the current sustainable fashion movement really transform the fashion industry and show us how to love fashion without perpetuating the harmful consequences of its production?

Utopia and Fashion is open to interrogate the links between fashion and utopia, to generate a wide-ranging dialogue that contributes to a better understanding of utopian impulses permeating fashion’s history, present as well as the visions of fashion futures. Submissions are invited from academics, fashion designers, makers, curators, journalists and independent researchers from every part of the world, at all stages of careers.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Utopia and sustainable fashion futures
  • Utopian identities in fashion
  • Fashioning the utopian body
  • Fashion craft and utopia
  • Political agency of fashion

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