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Envisioning American Utopias

Fictions of Science and Politics in Literature and Visual Culture

Antje Dallmann, Reinhard Isensee and Philipp Kneis

The volume discusses utopian representations of American society, and reflections of American political thought and vision in literature, film, and television. The articles address topics of ecology, urbanism, politics, society, and heroism. Specifically, the volume addresses texts by Paul Auster, Ernest Callenbach, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Sam Shepard, Alexis de Toqueville, James Welch, and Nathanael West, and television series like 24, and the Star Trek and Stargate franchises, as well as video games. Contributors include Sandra Beyer, Rasmus Damkjær Christensen, Antje Dallmann, Allison Davis-White Eyes, Martin Dalgaard Grøn, Reinhard Isensee, Berenike Jung, Philipp Kneis, Daniela Simon, Katarzyna Sobieraj, Renate Ulbrich, and Thomas Wagenknecht.
Contents: Philipp Kneis: Introduction: Utopia and America – Rasmus Damkjær Christensen/Martin Dalgaard Grøn: Ecotopian Perspectives: Environmental Realities in American Politics and Literature – Renate Ulbrich: «California Dreamin’»: Utopian and Dystopian Images of Space – Antje Dallmann: From Behind Bow Windows: The Metropolis and Mental Life in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction – Philipp Kneis: Finding Atlantis Instead of Utopia: From Plato to Starfleet and Stargate Command – Philipp Kneis: Barbarians at the Gate: (Ig)Noble Savages and Manifest Destiny at the Final Frontier – Katarzyna Sobieraj: The Post 9/11 Dystopia? The Representation of the World in 24 – Sandra Beyer: A Utopia for Conservatives and Real Men: Sexual Politics and Gendered Relations in Star Trek – Thomas Wagenknecht: Two «Eurotopian» Projections of America at the Disjuncture between Chimera and Understanding – Allison Davis-White Eyes: Beyond Canada: James Welch and American Indian Notions of Utopia – Berenike Jung: Trauma Reenactment and Stalling in Batman Begins and Superman Returns – Daniela Simon: New America: – Reinhard Isensee: Epilogue.