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Title: The social and cultural conception of space in early modern European utopias
Author: Triantafyllos, Sotirios
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3519
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This research attempts a new analysis of the early modern utopianism's space based on the Ptolemaic tripartite division of space into geos, topos and choros. This study unfolds through a selection of sources that represent the various patterns and the diversity of the uses of space not only in early modern utopian literature but also in intentional communities and colonial projects of the period. In the beginning, it examines the association of utopia with the newly discovered lands of the Americas and the Terra Australis and how the existence of these 'empty' in the eyes of the Europeans spaces gave new impetus to dreams for an alternative, better society. It then proceeds to an examination of the complex relationship that various expressions of utopianism had with the geographical space and natural environment underlining how their differences are manifested in their perception of nature. Additionally, based on the Ptolemaic cartographic practices, this thesis provides an overview of utopian space that, illuminates the different functions it fulfilled in early modern visions of ideal societies, thus highlighting the importance that was given to space for providing solutions to the various problems that the period's European societies faced. Hence, moving away from the traditional view that understands utopian space as unimaginative, symbolic and static and this thesis emphasises how realistic the utopian space was and how important this element was for the articulation of realistic alternative political and social paradigms. For this reason, great care is given to understand and illuminate the open dialogue that early modern utopias maintained with the real world, through their mutual concern for the best possible utilisation of their space-a mutual dialogue that influenced various fields such as architecture and public health policies both in utopia and the real world.
Supervisor: Iliffe, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available