Utopian Imagination and the Disenchanted University

Mark Featherstone joins the Collective Intellectualities team to talk about the disenchanted university, themes of utopia and dystopia, and how growing up in Hull in the 1970s influenced the direction of his research.

He is Professor of Social and Political Theory at Keele University, UK. He is author of Tocqueville’s Virus: Utopia and Dystopia in Western Social and Political Theory (Routledge, 2007), Planet Utopia: Utopia, Dystopia and the Global Imaginary (Routledge, 2017), and editor of The Sociology of Debt (Policy, 2019) and Writing the Body Politic: A John O’Neill Reader (Routledge, 2019). He is also editor of Cultural Politics (Duke University Press).

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Mark Featherstone

Mark is Professor of Social and Political Theory at Keele University.

He writes:

I grew up in Hull in the 1970s. I became a sociologist largely because I wanted to understand the social changes I saw taking place around me and, in particular, the decline of key industries, the emergence of mass unemployment and community breakdown. These social effects impacted upon my own family and the families of everybody I knew and have deeply influenced the way I understand society and think about sociology.

My research specialisms are social theory, critical theory, and psychoanalysis. I am a sociologist of utopias, dystopias, idealised social systems, and the sociological imagination.