Conference 'Utopia and Ecotone: Contemporary Stakes'


Illustration by @Denis Courard, La Ligne d'Ombre


This international conference at Ghent University will be the 8th opus of the “Ecotones : encounters, crossings, communities” (2015-2022) conference cycles, which aim to open up the term “ecotone”, a concept hitherto used in geography and ecology, to the humanities, political and social sciences. The “Utopia and Ecotone” Conference will focus specifically on utopias that emerge from or relate to ecotones. 

As a place (oikos) of identity tensions (tonos) at work, the ecotone represents a shared alternative space, enabling connection, transformation, and potentially reinvention. The hypothesis is the following: an ecotone is a fertile space for the reawakening of "real" utopia (Bloch), a hypothesis that will be specifically posed in the face of contemporary issues. As an anticipatory consciousness, experimental thinking, far from the totalitarian temptation, utopia would be an open floor to pragmatic possibilities, to feasible projects of transformation, here and now. 

In conjunction with the political and social sciences, special attention will be given to literary and artistic representations of these multiple contemporary formations of utopias dealing with issues of flow and mobility in ecotonal spaces.


For more information please visit the conference website.


This conference is supported by FWO Research Foundation Flanders, Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique-FNRS, Ghent University, Université libre de Bruxelles, Philixte (ULB), Département Langues, Traduction et Communication (ULB), EMMA (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3), DIRE (Université de La Réunion), Maison Française d’Oxford & Midis de la Poésie.