Utopian Print Cultures

The first part of the Sadler Seminar Series The Spirit and the Letter: Radical Practices of Community, Language and Design.

If the impulse to create a better or different world can be understood as the spirit of utopia, the letter introduces a concrete element, the building blocks through which this impulse may be realised. The series explores the interplay between the spirit and the letter of utopia in the context of critical design practice, with a focus on printed culture and auxiliary language communities.

The first session will introduce and draw out these strands of inquiry through a discussion of utopian print cultures, with presentations by Paul Wilson (School of Design) and Liz Stainforth (School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies).  

Liz Stainforth will speak about her research for the digital exhibition 'Utopia: Crafting the Ideal Book', which features two significant copies of Thomas More's 'Utopia', held in Special Collections.

Paul Wilson will consider the links between utopian language and design through a close reading of the English-Esperanto dictionary, the first of which was compiled by Joseph Rhodes in Keighley in 1920.

These short presentations will be followed by a group discussion, with the aim of identifying interdisciplinary links between theories of utopia, cultures of print, critical design practice and radical histories and imaginaries of community.

All are welcome to attend the full seminar.


Location details

LHRI (Seminar Room 1)