Lecture: Haunted Futures: The Utopian Margins (Avery Gordon)
The philosopher Ernst Bloch declared that ‘all given existence and being itself has utopian margins which surround actuality with real and objective possibility’. This talk takes up the idea of the utopian margins, along with its distinctive temporality, and explores some of what haunts the utopian archive as it is known today. Focussing on items held by the Hawthorn Archive, the talk invites consideration of the utopian margins where running away, marronage, vagrancy, rebellion, soldier desertion and other often illegible forms of escape, resistance, and alternative ways of life predominate.
Avery F. Gordon is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and visiting professor at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of The Hawthorn Archive: Letters from the Utopian Margins (2018), The Workhouse: The Breitenau Room (2015, with Ines Schaber), Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination (1997/2008), and Keeping Good Time: Reflections on Knowledge, Power and People (2004), among other books and articles. Her work focuses on radical thought and practice, and she writes about captivity, enslavement, war and other forms of dispossession and how to eliminate them. She serves on the editorial committee of the journal Race & Class and is the co-host of No Alibis, a weekly public affairs radio program on KCSB FM Santa Barbara. She was for many years the Keeper of the Hawthorn Archive.