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  • Spain:Review of Publications on Utopia
  • Joana Caetano (bio)

The years 2016 and 2017 have been particularly prolific in the field of utopian studies. Spain alone has seen thirty items published since 2016 that were indexed as "utopian" by the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the database from which this article draws its data.1 As we will see, the concept of utopia has inspired researchers and artists from different areas in their production of knowledge and art, as well as in expanding the debate about the philosophical, economic, political, and social issues of contemporary society to the general public. The idea of utopia has also inspired contemporary Spanish poets, namely, Iosu Moracho, who published La Utopia tiene los Pies Descalzos (Utopia Is Barefoot, 2016), and José Miguel Martin, whose Perdón por la Utopia (Apologies for Utopia, 2016) is a complexly styled collection of personal and social poems that combines classic and modern poetry.

In this review, I will identify and discuss a selection of these sources and assess the impact the five hundredth anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's Utopia has had in this geographic context. To make the [End Page 613] available information more appealing to the reader, instead of simply listing the titles, I have clustered the publications into subgroups, as follows:

  1. 1. Primary Sources: Publications, Translations, and Reeditions

  2. 2. Publications on Literature, Education, and Philosophy

  3. 3. Publications on History, Politics, and Social Activism

  4. 4. Publications on Political and Economic Alternatives

  5. 5. Publications on Architecture and the Arts

1. Primary Sources: Publications, Translations, and Reeditions

For 2016, I cataloged at least three new editions of More's Utopia in Spanish, one of which is particularly interesting due to its introduction by Felipe Aguado Hernández, titled "Utopía y Educación" (Utopia and Education, 2016), as a celebration of the five hundred years of the publication of Utopia. The translation Utopía: Con textos de Ursula K. Le Guin (Utopia: With Texts by Ursula K. Le Guin), with an introduction by China Miéville, was also published in 2016.

In 2017, the scholar Francisco L. Lisi published "La república" de Platón y la Utopía (Últimas lecciones en la Carlos III de Madrid) (Plato's "Republic" and Utopia [Last Lectures at the Carlos III University of Madrid]). In this academic publication, Lisi demonstrates how, although its author conceived it as an achievable political program, the state described in the Republic had a wide influence on the history of utopia and Western political thought. This work defines the notion of "utopia" through its historical development and its influence on contemporary political thought. A detailed analysis of the dialogue, with special emphasis placed on the unity of form and content, emphasizes the programmatic significance of the work and the concept of justice it defends.

2. Publications on Literature, Education, and Philosophy

In the field of literature and culture, I highlight the essay collection Hermenéutica, Educación y Sociedad: En los albores de la Utopía (Hermeneutics, Education, and Society: At the Dawn of Utopia, 2017), edited by Elena [End Page 614] Jiménez García, Ricardo de la Fuente Ballesteros, and Francisco J. F. Carrera. It offers an overview of More's masterpiece and fuels the debate on how utopianism matters today. In the first chapters, Irene Valero-Oteo gives a brief introduction to Utopia and elaborates on the basic concepts of utopia, liberal utopia, political utopia, and socialist utopia. Manuel Bermúdez Vázquez depicts the evolution of the idea from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century and acknowledges the difficulties in finding a "canonical" definition of the concept. The remaining chapters approach the topic from various perspectives and apply it to numerous fields (culture, music, and education, among others).

In the field of education, it is worth mentioning Matilde Benavent Sancho's dissertation "Educación bilingüe ¿Realidad o Utopía?" (Bilingual Education. Reality or Utopia?), now available for public access. The text elaborates on the need to provide bilingual education, through programs such as Content and Language Integrated Learning, due to the growing internationalization of information and the labor market. Sancho maps the different circumstances of bilingual education in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2154-9648
Print ISSN
1045-991X
Pages
pp. 613-623
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-17
Open Access
No
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