Utopia: The avant-garde, modernism and (im)possible life

D. Ayers*, B. Hjartarson, T. Huttunen, H. Veivo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Utopian hope and dystopian despair are characteristic features of modernism and the avant-garde. Readings of the avant-garde have frequently sought to identify utopian moments coded in its works and activities as optimistic signs of a possible future social life, or as the attempt to preserve hope against the closure of an emergent dystopian present. The fourth volume of the EAM series, European Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, casts light on the history, theory and actuality of the utopian and dystopian strands which run through European modernism and the avant-garde from the late 19th to the 21st century. The book's varied and carefully selected contributions, written by experts from around 20 countries, seek to answer such questions as: • how have modernism and the avant-garde responded to historical circumstance in mapping the form of possible futures for humanity?; • how have avant-garde and modernist works presented ideals of living as alternatives to the present?; • how have avant-gardists acted with or against the state to remodel human life or to resist the instrumental reduction of life by administration and industrialisation?.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages544
ISBN (Electronic)9783110434781
ISBN (Print)9783110427097
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


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