This entry argues that utopia or social dreaming offers a fruitful, often literary, mode and method for thinking futures, socially and imaginatively, most often in non-linear ways, with literary texts from outside the mainstream and most often Eurocentric canon (such as the colonial Indian Muslim feminist utopian fable “Sultana’s Dream,” 1905) acting as especially fruitful nodes of utopian imagination as alternative futures thinking. The entry sees the work of John Urry (utopia as social futures thinking), Ernst Bloch (hope or anticipatory consciousness as driver of utopian future-making), Fredric Jameson (utopia as program vs. utopia as impulse), Michel Foucault (heterotopia), and Gilles Deleuze (immanent utopia) as key theoretical directions for understanding utopia as a critical imagination of the future.
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