"Nearly everyone involved in utopian studies acknowledges one scholar, Arthur O. Lewis (1920-2009), Associate Dean Emeritus of the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, as the father figure. His annual Directory of Utopian Scholars, which he began compiling in 1958, was one of the publications that eventually brought about the establishment of the Society for Utopian Studies (whose papers are also collected at Penn State) and the Associazione Internazionale per gli Studi sulle Utopie. The pursuit of a definition of utopia occupied Professor Lewis for many years, and during that time we added books to our shelves to support his research and the publication of Of Men and Machines (1963) and American Utopias: Selected Short Fiction (1971). On March 25, 2003, the collection was named The Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection in honor of Professor Lewis's many contributions to Penn State's collection and to the field of utopian studies."
"The Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies was established in 2003 to pursue innovative research across disciplines on utopian thought and practice. The Centre’s research and service agenda is based on the premise that social values, policies, and practices are shaped by hopeful, utopian visions, and that this dimension is critical to the betterment of life for all members of society. Far from a static, ‘perfect’ and allegedly unrealisable proposition, Ralahine promotes an understanding of the utopian as both a social reality and a critically important way of envisioning change. The ‘political unconscious’ (Fredric Jameson) of a society is utopian insofar as it expresses collective desires for better values and practices. Ralahine is committed to the exploration of this practical insight, both historically and with respect to our common future."
"Founded in 1975, The Society for Utopian Studies is an international, interdisciplinary association devoted to the study of utopianism in all its forms, with a particular emphasis on literary and experimental utopias. Scholars representing a wide variety of disciplines are active in the association, and approach utopian studies from such diverse backgrounds as American Studies, Architecture, the Arts, Classics, Cultural Studies, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, History, Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Urban Planning. Although many Society members are involved in social activism or communitarianism, the purpose of the Society itself is to study utopianism rather than to pursue utopian projects."
"The Society’s Teaching Committee fosters the discussion/sharing resources of education, teaching, and pedagogy in relation to utopia. Its Teaching Utopia site houses the teaching archives: a collection/discussion of utopian teaching materials (syllabi, assignments, etc.)" (from website).