For 500 years, utopia—a word coined by Sir Thomas More to describe the ideal city—has been used as popular shorthand for a perfect world and lies at the heart of the Western political imagination. But what does it really mean today in the context of 21st-century urbanism, especially in a megacity like Los Angeles that has been the setting for utopian and dystopian thinking almost since its founding? A new exhibition of materials from the USC Libraries' collections explores these questions, the history of utopian thinking, and the fine line between utopia and dystopia.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 5:30 p.m., Doheny Memorial Library
In conjunction with the exhibiton, three discussions, marking the December 2016 half-millennium anniversary of the book’s publication, consider L.A.’s relation to Utopia from diverse perspectives, amid questions about the area’s natural and built environments, political representation, regional hydrology, and large-scale, intractable problems such as homelessness and income inequality:
- Governing Paradise Saturday, October 15, 2016, 1 p.m. Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Doheny Memorial Library 240
- Designing Utopia Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 7 p.m. Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Doheny Memorial Library 240
- Utopian Representations Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 5 p.m. Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Doheny Memorial Library 240
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