The Utopia/Dystopia Symposium is an interdisciplinary conference exploring the wide-ranging influence of utopian and dystopian thinking in contemporary culture. These themes are often found in popular film, literature and TV shows, but they also permeate areas that we don't often think about in utopian and dystopian terms.

The symposium opens on Monday, Feb. 6 with a reception at the Coyote Twin Theatre in downtown Vermillion. There will be refreshments, art by Vermillion residents that represent their idea of Utopian Vermillion, and a free film screening.

The symposium continues on Tuesday, Feb. 7 with a range of activities in the Muenster University Center (MUC), including panels of 10-minute flash lectures featuring faculty from across the university, lunch, a student panel, a keynote talk and more. 

The symposium keynote speaker is Alexander Weinstein. In addition to being an award-winning author, with a recent film to his credit, Weinstein is also an associate professor of English at Siena Heights University and director of The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. His talk will blend craft and scholarship on the topic of writing utopia/dystopia.

Weinstein is the author of the short story collections, "Universal Love" and "Children of the New World," which was chosen as a New York Times "100 Notable Books of the Year," and a best book of the year by NPR, Google and Electric Literature. His fiction and interviews have appeared in Rolling Stone, World Literature Today, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Best American Experimental Writing. He is a recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and has been awarded the Lamar York, Gail Crump, Hamlin Garland, and New Millennium Prizes.

Faculty, staff, students and the community are invited to attend. All events are free. Please visit the event website to view a full schedule and to register.

Press Contact
Hanna DeLange
Contact Email
Contact Website website