This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Thomas Mores’ celebrated work Utopia. Promise, prophylactic simulator, mirror of our desires and dreams, utopia has a common grounding in a lucid criticism of the present social, political and cultural condition. However, sweet utopia and terrifying dystopia are two sides of the same coin, like dream and nightmare. Literature and cinema have provided ideas and images, often foreseeing new realities. In the 20th century, reason manipulated utopia, making it serve as justification for atrocities – modern warfare and genocide being extreme examples. What perished was the belief in History with a teleological sense, the only common feature shared by libertarian and authoritarian utopias. Nowadays, utopian desire as well as thoughts about utopia are rarely heard. Art and literature are not only creators of utopia and dystopia, but are in themselves heterotopias, that is, other spaces. There is still faith in their capacity to transcend or even transform reality, going beyond escapism into virtual realities when confronted with the heterotopias of crisis and deviation that proliferate around us all.

With the foregoing and other possible lines of thought in mind, the 18th Autumn Colloquium will focus on approaches to the common thematic from the perspectives of Philosophy, Cultural and Literary Studies and Linguistics. Questions such as the following will be considered:

1. The ambivalence of utopia: critique of the present by the negativity of dialectics or colonization of the future through the teleology of progress or redemption.

2. Totalitarian regimes and their appropriation of utopia. History as decay and not as progress. The post-colonial condition between libertarianism and authoritarianism.

3. The discreditization of utopia in the light of contemporary dystopias and heterotopias of crisis and deviation. The urban space between utopia, dystopia and heterotopias.

4. Physical and non-physical homelessness. Utopian and dystopian configurations of virtual and hybrid realities.

Invited speakers confirmed:

  • Eduardo Subirats (New York University), El no-lugar de la teoría literaria
  • Fátima Vieira (Universidade do Porto), Utopian thinking in times of crisis: From the political to the philosophical Utopia
  • Ángel Rivero (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), The Welfare State as reality and as utopia?
  • Peter Hanenberg (Universidade Católica, Lisboa), Why Utopia is possible - and why not. Observations from Cognitive Culture Studies
  • Christina Märzhäuser (Universität München / CELGA), Linguistic encoding of urban heterotopias in Lisbon hip hop speech style - rap de Lisboa revisited

Thematic panels:

A utopia dum rendimento básico incondicional
Coord. by Patrícia Fernandes, Marco Loureiro and José Costa

  • Martim Avillez Figueiredo (UCP)
  • Raquel Varela (IHC-UNL)
  • Jorge Silva (Partido PAN)

Variação linguística no espaço urbano
Coord. by Pilar Barbosa and Cristina Flores

Organizing committee:

  • Orlando Grossegesse (University of Minho, Portugal) [cv]
  • Cristina Flores (University of Minho, Portugal) [cv]
  • Micaela Ramon (University of Minho, Portugal) [cv]
  • Sérgio Sousa (University of Minho, Portugal) [cv]
  • Pilar Barbosa (University of Minho, Portugal) [cv]
  • Roberto Merrill (University of Minho, Portugal) [cv]


Event organized by: Centre for Humanistic Studies of the University of Minho (CEHUM):




Submission of abstracts: CLOSED.

Registration for non-author participants: until November 10, 2016.

Registration fees: 50€ (we offer a coupon of 30€ for CEHUM books)

University of Minho members: 25€ (we offer a coupon of 15€ for CEHUM books)

Dinner (optional, day 17): 20€

Catalog of CEHUM books for pre-order: PDF

(Please send an e-mail to

A peer-reviewed selection of presented papers will be published as ebook and print version (small number / on demand).

The conference will be held at the University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, Auditório ILCH.

Transports  Accomodation  About the City



Registration for non-author participants: until November 10, 2016.

Call for Papers: CLOSED.

*All fields are mandatory.



Poster: JPG

Programme: PDF




Director: Orlando Grossegesse



Centro de Estudos Humanísticos
Universidade do Minho
Campus de Gualtar
4710-057 Braga