My kind of history: the anthropology of utopia – part II

school-of-athens
‘The School of Athens’, fresco by Raphael (1483-1520). Taken from WikiArt.

In my last post, I explained briefly what kinds of questions I find appealing in the fields of history and utopian theory. In this post, I would like to elaborate on where I believe these questions come to the fore most vividly, and how the historical location of such questions influences my choice regarding subject-matter and period. The alert reader can see that I am writing in a strangely ‘passive’ voice: I do not simply pick the subject-matter – the subject-matter suggests itself to me, given my commitments. To some extent, this is the product of the fact that academia is a calling, and perhaps history (or the humanities in general) has an even higher ‘calling-potential’ than most other academic fields.* But I have to admit it’s also partly a personal defect and occupational hazard: to historicise even oneself beyond the recognition of agency. This is something I’m still working on, I promise.

Continue reading My kind of history: the anthropology of utopia – part II