UCL Urban Laboratory


Looking Backward/Looking Forward: Utopian Literature and its afterlives

22 September 2016, 1:00 pm–2:30 pm

The Bradbury Building

Event Information

Open to



The Screening Room, Somerset House, South Wing, Victoria Emankment, London WC2R 1LA

As part of the London Design Biennale 2016, Urban Laboratory Co-director Professor Matthew Beaumont will talk on utopian fiction's representation of urban space.

He will explore the upsurge in utopian thinking in the late nineteenth century, the last period in which it was a literary discourse of pressing political importance in the UK and the US, and examine its afterlives in the twentieth century, when the dreams of that time curdled into nightmares. It will also reflect on the utopian and dystopian futures available to us today, especially in contemporary disaster movies.

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