Zer0 Utopia x CETAPS Series          –         CETAPS+ Cultures of the Future Talks

April 2024        –        Online

Hosted by Manuel Sousa Oliveira (University of Porto / CETAPS) in partnership with Zer0 Books

Wed, Apr 3, 2024

5 PM UTC (Lisbon)

Jon Greenaway 

“Why Bloch Now? Dreams of a Better Life in an Age of Catastrophe”

Thu, Apr 11, 2024

5 PM UTC (Lisbon)

Anthony Galluzzo

“John Boorman’s Zardoz as Cultural Artifact and Prophetic Vision: From Critical Aquarianism to Degrowth”

Wed, Apr 17, 2024

5 PM UTC (Lisbon)

Bill Cashmore

“A Rupture in the Actual? The Problem of Utopia”

Wed, Apr 24, 2024

5 PM UTC (Lisbon)

Rachid M’Rabty

“On Pessimism and Utopia”


Register here: https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAkd-Chpz0uGddid2VTs1gn8wwtXBNES46C

We live in an age of catastrophe, and the utopian project is left as either a naive dream at best or a wilful ignoring of the facts in front of us. The stakes for the audacious gamble of “socialism or barbarism” have never been higher and so it is incumbent upon us to find ways of thinking the possibilities of a better future. For this, we have no better resource than the colossal archive of work from the German philosopher and militant Ernst Bloch. This talk, an introduction to Bloch’s work, context, and overall philosophical project aims to make the case that even here and now, in the midst of ever more despair, what Bloch termed “the warm stream of Marxism” offers resources for an agential and politically meaningful philosophy of hope. 


Dr Jon Greenaway (pronouns he/they) is an independent academic and author. He has taught at universities across the UK on the intersections of horror, theology, and Marxism. He is the co-editor of Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches To Theology, Race and Sexuality (UWP, 2019), the author of Theology, Horror and Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2021), and the forthcoming book Capitalism: A Horror Story (Repeater Books, 2024). His work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, and a host of other outlets, and he is the co-host of the podcast Horror Vanguard which reaches 5,000 listeners a week covering horror film, theory, and left politics.   

Greenaway’s new book A Primer on Utopian Philosophy (Zer0 Books) is available here: https://www.collectiveinkbooks.com/zer0-books/our-books/primer-utopian-philosophy-ernst-bloch  

Hosted by Manuel Sousa Oliveira (University of Porto / CETAPS).  In partnership with Zer0 Books


Register here: https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvfuihrjMrHNYrl7nMDTBDqd-YIv4bXbmy

This talk will focus on John Boorman’s cult 1974 film Zardoz as an exemplar of what Galluzzo calls “Critical Aquarianism”—a constellation of 1970s-era artists and thinkers who anticipate such present day phenomena as “degrowth” and Kohei Saito’s decelerationist “eco-communism.” Much of the sixties-era counterculture, like the modernist ideologies it superficially questioned, still equated liberation or freedom with endless growth conceived in quantitative terms. Both old and new lefts, for example, wanted more—from the orthodox Marxists’ liberated forces of production to unleashed appetites and unhindered individualism promoted by large swathes of the counterculture. What distinguished the disparate artists and thinkers that Galluzzo is calling “Critical Aquarian” was their focus on limits and self-limitation as key to a more substantive form of liberation. And it should be said that ecology and a dawning awareness of the environmental crisis played a significant role in this line of thought, although—as this talk hopes to show in its reading of Boorman’s film and its relationship with the overpopulation panic of the late sixties and seventies—this discourse of limits was distinct from or even opposed to the technocratic neo-Malthusianism, in many ways indistinguishable from neo-colonialism, that dominated a mainstream environmental movement that too often viewed nature (and non-white peoples) as standing reserve or resources to be managed so as to efficiently maximize capitalist growth patterns.

Anthony Galluzzo is a writer and academic from New York, whose work focuses on degrowth utopias and a constellation of thinkers he dubs Critical Aquarians, offering an alternate route out of the current social and ecological crisis.

Galluzzo’s new book Against the Vortex (Zer0 Books) is available here: https://www.collectiveinkbooks.com/zer0-books/our-books/against-vortex-zardoz-degrowth-utopias

Hosted by Manuel Sousa Oliveira (University of Porto / CETAPS) . In partnership with Zer0 Books


Register here: https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYlce6vqz8pGN12x8thmK-UqA5OLVBT6ldd

In this talk, Bill Cashmore will outline the specific problem that utopia poses for political thought. That is, if utopia is defined as a non-place, what is its relation to the actual utterance that declares it to be nowhere? How can utopia be said to be removed from actuality when it must always be articulated in terms of that actuality? Significantly, Cashmore’s claim will be that the problem of utopia is indicative of a structural problem regarding the relation of politics to the social. That is: what is the place of the concept of rupture in our political thought? This talk will articulate one of the key arguments of Cashmore’s new book
We Hear Only Ourselves, which is that the idea of utopia is speculatively aporetic, and as such there can be no merely speculative answer to the question of what utopia is. Rather, they argue that we ought to re-understand the idea of utopia through the concept of utopian narrative, which may offer a response, if not a solution, to the aporias constitutive of utopian thought in general. Towards the end of the talk, Cashmore hopes to articulate how such a mode of thinking might be applied to two discourses in contemporary critical theory: the question of pessimism in Black studies, and the narration of trans identity.

Bill Cashmore is a writer and philosopher based in East London. They work predominantly on Marxism, critical theory, and the Black radical tradition. Their next project is on the dialectics of value in Marx’s critique of political economy.

Cashmore’s new book We Hear Only Ourselves (Zer0 Books) is available here: https://www.collectiveinkbooks.com/zer0-books/our-books/we-hear-only-ourselves-utopia-narrative-resistance

Hosted by Manuel Sousa Oliveira (University of Porto / CETAPS). In partnership with Zer0 Books


Against the pernicious machinations of modern-day capitalism and a perverse optimism that sustains it, pessimism clears the way for a re-engagement with that most radical utopian of goals – a collective escape from an otherwise seemingly inescapable zeitgeist. Introducing some of the key themes of Disconsolate Dreamers (Zer0 Books), this talk presents a reading of pessimistic thought as useful to the Left, and links this to a necessary rethinking of Utopia, not in tired terms of ‘this world made better’, but rather as the defiant, imagined exorcism or dis-appearance of the world itself. In so doing, this talk argues that to begin to grasp at a true conception of Utopia requires a most radical rebellion against the (capitalist) world as-we-know-it; a disavowal of our inhibiting and binding optimistic delusions, and an imaginative stepping-out into the unknown.

Rachid M’Rabty is a writer and researcher from Manchester, UK. Rachid’s previously published writing and research activities have focused on violence, nihilism, horror and the Gothic, as well as Marxist and Post-Marxist critical theory in contemporary literature, TV and film. 

M’Rabty’s new book Disconsolate Dreamers (Zer0 Books) is available here: https://www.collectiveinkbooks.com/zer0-books/our-books/disconsolate-dreamers-pessimism-utopia

Hosted by Manuel Sousa Oliveira (University of Porto / CETAPS). In partnership with Zer0 Books

Zer0 Utopia is a book series published by Zer0 Books, an imprint of Collective Ink: www.collectiveinkbooks.com/zer0-books/. Utopia has a bad reputation, suggesting a politics of wild impracticality or vast mechanisms of repressions springing to life to crush dissent. How do we steer between these two extremes and still keep our eyes on the prospect of a radically better world? Which historical and contemporary projects should guide us, which thinkers can enlarge us, which artists inspire us? Zer0’s Utopia series aims to uncover the Utopian in all its dimensions.

Emma Reay

“The Child in Videogames: From the Meek, to the Mighty, to the Monstrous”

CETAPS+ Cultures of the Future Talks

March 6, 2024 | 5 PM UTC (Lisbon) | Online

Videogames are key arenas in which definitions of childhood are being created and contested. While child-players of videogames are lightning rods for academic research, child-characters in videogames have been mostly ignored. In this talk, Dr. Reay will explain what we can learn about contemporary constructions of childhood from analysing the coded kids that populate virtual worlds. She will make a case that we need to move away from questions of whether videogames are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for child-players, and towards questions of how digital games are reshaping our beliefs about
youth and age.



Dr. Emma Reay is a Senior Lecturer in Emerging Media at the University of Southampton, where she teaches the undergraduate degree in Game Design and Art. Her recent research focusses on videogames and mental health, gaming and childhood, the ethics of designing therapeutic videogames, and play and bereavement. She’s currently playing Baldur’s Gate 3, and thinking a lot about cooperation, community, and ensemble storytelling.

Dr. Emma Reay’s outstanding new book The Child in Videogames: From the Meek, to the Mighty, to the Monstrous (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024) is available here: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-42371-0

Hosted by Jéssica Iolanda Costa Bispo (Nova University Lisbon/CETAPS)

Francesca Ferrando

“In Love with… The Art of Being Posthuman”

CETAPS+ Cultures of the Future Talks

Feb 14, 2024 | 5 PM UTC (Lisbon) | Online






What is Love? As a celebration of Valentine’s Day in post-anthropocentric ways, this book presentation of The Art of Being Posthuman: Who are We in the 21st Century? (Polity), will focus on the notion of posthuman love approached as love for existence. This posthuman journey of self-inquiry will engage with a wide range of knowledge and wisdom: from the Paleolithic times to the futures of radical life extension, from multi-species evolutions to the rights of Nature, the Anthropocene and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Knowing who we are means loving the Self as the others within. We are one and many: Infinite, Love.


Dr. Ferrando, Ph.D. (pronouns: they/them) teaches Philosophy at New York University (US), NYU-Program of Liberal Studies. Dr. Ferrando is a leading voice in the field of Posthuman Studies and the author of several publications, including Philosophical Posthumanism (Bloomsbury) and The Art of Being Posthuman (Polity); their work has been translated into a dozen languages. Dr. Ferrando was awarded the philosophical prize “Sainati” by the President of Italy; named “One of the 100 Top Creatives Making Change in the World” by ‘ORIGIN’ Magazine, and defined as “the Philosopher Poet of our Times”. More info: www.theposthuman.org
Francesca Ferrando‘s outstanding new book The Art of Being Posthuman (Polity) is available here: https://www.politybooks.com/bookdetail?book_slug=the-art-of-being-posthuman-who-are-we-in-the-21st-century–9781509548958

Hosted by Manuel Sousa Oliveira (University of Porto / CETAPS)

Francesca Ferrando’s Talk

Questions & Answers

Q&A “The Divine”

Q&A “The Child”

Q&A “The Environment”

CETAPS+ Cultures of The Future is proud to present Part 2 of the lecture on The Force of GenderThe Afterlife of The Handmaid’s Tale: “Payback”, by Professor Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor.

Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and English at Pennsylvania State University. Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor has published two monographs, Postmodern Utopias and Feminist Fictions, published by Cambridge University Press in 2013; and edited two essay collections, including The Scandal of Susan Sontag (Columbia University Press, 2009).

She is the author of dozens of book chapters and articles in Utopian StudiesFeminist Studies and Contemporary Women’s Writing and a former president of The Society for Utopian Studies (SUS). Her current work looks at the cultural significance of plastic and plastic waste, and its impacts on environmental crisis.

Cultures of the Future Lectures is CETAPS latest initiative which aims to provide innovative tools and methods by inviting prominent scholars from all over the world to reflect on relevant topics to our fields of research.

For our first lecture, we are honoured to introduce Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and English at Pennsylvania State University. Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor has published two monographs, Postmodern Utopias and Feminist Fictions, published by Cambridge University Press in 2013; and edited two essay collections, including The Scandal of Susan Sontag (Columbia University Press, 2009).

She is the author of dozens of book chapters and articles in Utopian Studies, Feminist Studies and Contemporary Women’s Writing and a former president of The Society for Utopian Studies (SUS). Her current work looks at the cultural significance of plastic and plastic waste, and its impacts on environmental crisis.

CETAPS is proud to present Part 1 of the lecture on The Force of Gender: Queer Reckonings in Post-War American Utopian Literature.


CETAPS+ Cultures of the Future – Webinar September 15th, 6pm UTC+1

This Webinar will be held in Portuguese.

“Caldeirão da Santa Cruz do Deserto: Time, Memory and Utopia”

The first “CETAPS + Cultures of the Future” Webinar will have as its theme the Intentional Community Caldeirão da Santa Cruz do Deserto, which existed in the city of Crato, in the State of Ceará, northeast region of Brazil, from 1926 to 1936.
The theme will be presented and discussed by Michel Macedo Marques (CETAPS), Domingos Sávio Cordeiro (URCA) and Cristina Rodrigues Holanda (Instituto Mirante de Cultura e Arte).

You can attend this Webinar by registering in the link below:

For any questions please contact:
culturesofthefuture@gmail.com or cetaps@letras.up.pt

“Utopian Openings and Closings: The COVID Pandemic and its Aftermath”.

In this conversation, it will be explored from an ethical and utopian perspective our current global challenges and their (im)possible solutions in light of these hopes and missed opportunities since the early months of the pandemic. As our timeline lines up one dystopian scene after another—the pandemic, the war, the energy crisis, the rise of authoritarianism—(pop) culture and literature have turned to utopian thought to grapple with a crisis-ridden world. On screen, for example, shows like The Good Place (2016-2020) or Severence (2022-) insist on the ethics of personal choice in the everyday as an inflection point for larger utopian (and dystopian) implications. In the same vein, Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her post-capitalist utopia Always Coming Home (1985): “Accidents happened to people, but what people did they were responsible for.” As humanities scholars, the conversation will be drawing on the utopian imagination to ask how we may help usher in a livable future through a critical engagement with the now.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 pm UTC+1
The theme will be presented and discussed by:

Manuel Sousa Oliveira (he/him) (co-host), University of Porto / CETAPS

Tobias Annamalay Jochum (he/him) (co-host), JFKI / FU Berlin

Guest speakers:

Julia Gibson (they/she), Antioch University

Rhiannon Firth (she/her), UCL Institute of Education
The session will be streamed live on Youtube on the link below:
Attendees will be able to comment and ask questions through the YouTube chat function.