Sarah Churchwell

Sarah Churchwell

Coleridge Lectures 2016: Utopia and the American Dream

Coleridge Lectures/
Thu 12 May 2016

Sarah Churchwell

Coleridge Lectures 2016: Utopia and the American Dream

Sarah Churchwell
Thu 12 May 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.

The idea of utopia has always been part of the American dream – from the first Puritan settlements and  the ‘city on the hill’, through Thoreau’s Walden, the sixties counterculture and to the conservative utopian dreams of today. America was also the country where the Romantic poets –  working in the South West of England in the 1790s – had the dream of a utopian community on the banks of the Susquehanna in Philadelphia where an egalitarian community would live, learn and work. Nowhere is this search for utopia more clear than in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, where each character is searching for their own version of utopia.

Sarah Churchwell, author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, reflects on Gatsby, the American dream and the endless search for utopia.

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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