ANN: Invoking Hope Roundtable (Online 5 Feb 2020)

Peter Sands's picture

Greetings Utopists and fellow travelers,


We would like to invite you to the third of our 2020-2021 virtual events:


A roundtable discussion of Phil Wegner’s new book, 

Invoking Hope: Theory and Utopia in Dark Times (Minnesota 2020)



Moderator: SUS President Peter Sands (Milwaukee)

Antonis Balasopoulos (Cyprus)

Tom Moylan (Limerick)

Eric Smith (Alabama-Huntsville)

Rob Tally (Texas State)

Patricia Ventura (Spelman)

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor (Penn State)

Kathi Weeks (Duke)

Phillip E. Wegner (Florida)



The roundtable is scheduled for Friday, 5 February 2021, at 11:30 a.m. CST, a time we chose to maximize the possibility of attendance across international time zones.  This URL should show you the event in YOUR time zone:


Here is a link to the registration page for this free event:


We certainly hope, too, that you’ll consider becoming a member of the Society for Utopian Studies if you are not already, and plan on attending our annual conference, in Austin, TX on 10-14 November 2021. Here’s a link to membership information:





Of the book, Christopher Breu writes, “Invoking Hope is a major intervention by our leading theorist of utopia—a manifesto for the crisis of the present and the possibility of a better future. Drawing on a mix of Western Marxism and Badiou, Wegner argues for the necessity of a positive hermeneutics and the imagination of possible futures. In the Pandora’s box of the present, Wegner finds the hope that emerges last but promises everything.”


Siane Ngai: “With originality and humor, Wegner extends Fredric Jameson’s tradition of dialectically reappropriating formalisms, showing how even the most seemingly static structures can be deployed to think diachronically and reinvigorate our abilities to historicize. This fearless book is exactly what we need now.”


Bruce Robbins: “This is a book that banishes intellectual lethargy forever, so dazzling are the close readings that flesh out its world-scale philosophy and so forceful is its polemic—a polemic on behalf of knowledge itself as much as theory, commitment, and a responsibly grounded, even necessary, account of hope.”


Phillip E. Wegner is the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar and Professor of English at the University of Florida, where he has taught since 1994, and the director of the Working Group for the Study of Critical Theory.  He is the author of four previous books, Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity(California, 2002); Life Between Two Deaths: U.S. Culture, 1989-2001 (Duke, 2009); Periodizing Jameson: Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative (Northwestern, 2014); and Shockwaves of Possibility: Essays on Science Fiction, Globalization, and Utopia (Peter Lang, 2014); as well as the editor of a new edition of Robert C. Elliott’s The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre (Peter Lang, 2013). He was the Society for Utopian Studies President from 2010-2014 and honored in 2017 with of the Society’s Lyman Tower Sargent Award for Distinguished Scholarship.




Categories: Announcement
Keywords: wegner, roundtable, SUS