Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan

More than a Dream: Three Feminist Utopians

Coleridge Lectures/
Thu 21 April 2016

Margaret Heffernan

More than a Dream: Three Feminist Utopians

Margaret Heffernan
Thu 21 April 2016,

This event is fully booked. Due to the high number of no-shows at free events, we expect empty seats on the night. You are welcome to queue for these and we will admit on a first come, first serve basis 5 minutes before the start of the event.

Utopias have been mostly written about by men – but many women have also dreamed of better worlds and fought for change. The ideas of the Romantic poets for a utopian community in America were conceived in Bristol at the same time as Mary Wollstonecraft sought her own utopia in the streets of Paris. Coleridge gave his Bristol lectures during a period when British women were beginning to conceive equality for themselves – a dream still to be fulfilled.

Examining the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Shulamith Firestone, writer and broadcaster Margaret Heffernan asks why few utopias are not about women, and explores the kinds of utopias women have imagined and envisaged. Heffernan also looks at why our age is so drawn to dystopias – when being able to imagine something better is a driving force in all political change – and at what women especially can offer now in utopian thinking.

This lecture is part of an annual series inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s radical lectures in Bristol in 1795. The 2016 theme is Utopias. Future themes include Revolution (2017) and Peace (2018).

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