Call for papers

The North University of Baia Mare, the Faculty of Letters, Department for Foreign Languages

The Third International Anniversary Conference

From Francis Bacon to William Golding: Utopias and Dystopias of Today and of Yore

October 20th – 23rd 2011

We are celebrating 450 years since Francis Bacon’s birth, and 100 years since William Golding’s by launching an invitation to an interdisciplinary fathoming of the depths of the human attraction toward utopias and dystopias. Whether they use the Baconian method ‘invented’ by the 1st (and last) Viscount Saint Alban, or the allegorical treatment of places and characters of the British dystopian poet and novelist, there are hundreds of writers, poets, artists, philosophers and critics that have added new facets and interpretations to the dreams or nightmares of humanity concerning their social organization, political hazards, humanist and religious values, as well as future heavens or apocalypses.
From the New Atlantis to Oleanna, Shangri-La, Xanadu or Shambala, many such Arcadian sites have been imagined by humanity to place their utopian visions. Dystopias are envisaged horrid places of Amalgamation, of the human being living in a Limbo, or in such places like Kazohinia, Kallocain, the future Zanzibar, the Metropole, the Terraplane, Metro 2033, or Grandoria. Since Foucault we also speak of Heterotopias, which are so fashionable in popular culture, especially with such complex and mixed symbols as those present in museums, theme parks, malls, holiday resorts, gated communities, wellness hotels and festival markets…. . Ecotopias, which started in the Hippie Movement with tones of primitivism and eco-anarchism are ‘sweetened’ by such contemporary dreams as the green skyscrapers, or the hovering cities…..

We invite contributions from academics in the domains of philology, philosophy, theology, psychology, and the arts to tackle any aspect of the above, in a conference that will combine paper presentations with cultural events, and with our tribute to the great two personalities that we are celebrating. Theme theatre performances, as well as art exhibitions, movies and musical events will come to add new insights into the vast domain, as well as into the lives and work of Bacon and Golding. We are only suggesting a few guidelines for panel discussions, but we are open to other suggestions, as well, for papers presented either in English or in Romanian:

-    the rhetorics of utopian and dystopian writings;
-    recurrent themes in literary and philosophical debates on utopias and dystopias;
-    genres of utopian and dystopian literary creations;
-    postmodern thinking and Foucault’s concept of heterotopia;
-    ecotopias and New Age; environmentalist interpretations of the future;
-    Bacon and his vision of a New Atlantis;
-    William Golding’s dystopian vision on the ‘civilized’ human being;
-    social and religious utopias and dystopias;
-    transformation, evolution or devolution of utopian thinking during the centuries….

As we would like to encourage a true interdisciplinary participation, with papers delivered both in English and Romanian, we will decide upon sections after the scientific committee has selected the most interesting propositions. Therefore, please fill in the registration form below, and send it to the organizing committee on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by March 1, 2011. For further queries please refer to our website or contact Mrs. Ligia Tomoiaga, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

All participants will have 15 minutes for paper presentation and 10 minutes for discussions. Selected papers will be published in the conference proceedings.

For those who would like to participate, but who, for reasons of distance and cost, cannot be present in person, we offer the possibility of video conferencing.

The conference registration fee is € 50 and it covers participation costs, coffee breaks, lunches and conference portfolio. Participation through video conference is € 30 .