Assistant Professor of English Literature Sarah Hogan will deliver a lecture for the Wake Forest Humanities Institute on Monday, April 16, titled “Early English Utopias and the Capitalist-Imperialist Imaginary.” Drawing upon research from her forthcoming book, Professor Hogan will discuss how utopian authors from Thomas More to John Milton variously reimagined the socio-economic crises and world-changing transitions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Hogan’s talk will take place in DeTamble Auditorium (A110 Tribble Hall) on Monday, April 16 at 4 p.m.
Sarah Hogan is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Wake Forest University. She is the author of Other Englands: Utopia, Capital, and Empire in an Age of Transition, a forthcoming monograph of literary criticism from Stanford University Press (May 2018). Her writing on historical, lived, and literary utopias has also appeared in The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, The Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, The Rumpus, and The Collagist.
About Other Englands (from the publisher):
Other Englands examines the rise of the early English utopia in the context of emergent capitalism. Above all, it asserts that this literary genre was always already an expression of social crisis and economic transition, a context refracted in the origin stories and imagined geographies common to its early modern form. Beginning with the paradigmatic popular utopias of Thomas More and Francis Bacon but attentive to non-canonical examples from the margins of the tradition, the study charts a shifting and, by the time of the English Revolution, self-critical effort to think communities in dynamic socio-spatial forms.
Arguing that early utopias have been widely misunderstood and maligned as static, finished polities, Sarah Hogan makes the case that utopian literature offered readers and writers a transformational and transitional social imaginary. She shows how a genre associated with imagining systemic alternatives both contested and contributed to the ideological construction of capitalist imperialism. In the early English utopia, she finds both a precursor to the Enlightenment discourse of political economy and another historical perspective on the beginnings and enduring conflicts of global capital.