Ecological Utopia: From the Victorians to Us

Over the course of three sessions, we will have an opportunity to explore Victorian responses to their changing environment, with a particular focus on William Morris’s utopian novel News from Nowhere.


The first session will consist of a presentation about my current research. I am currently working on a book entitled It’s the End of the World and We Know It: Ecological Grief and the Work of Utopia, which is about ecological mourning and utopian thinking from the Victorian period to the present. The book begins with a discussion of the 'utopia craze' of the late 19th century—of which Morris’s novel was a key part—and also discusses the work of John Ruskin and other early environmentalist writers. The latter part of the book explores recent and present-day responses to ecological change, including literary responses, and considers our own “ecological mourning” as a legacy of Victorian thinking. It ends with a discussion of recent on-the-ground ecotopian experiments.


The second and third sessions will consist of an in-depth discussion of News from Nowhere. In Session Two we will discuss the first half of Morris’s novel and contemporary Victorian responses to it; in the final session we will discuss the second half of the novel alongside some short excerpts from recent writers on climate grief and ecotopia.

Dial-In Information

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Virtual Event

Recent Activity