What does fiction say about the world we wish we had?

Prof. Matthew Beaumont

Imagining new worlds in speculative fiction, fantasy and sci fi doesn't just help us envision possible futures; it also gives us a powerful way to think about our world as it is now. What do our fictional worlds tell us about the world we want to live in?

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Imagining new worlds in genres like speculative fiction and sci fi doesn't just help us envision possible futures; it also gives us a powerful way to think about our world as it is now.

Matthew Beaumont is a Professor of English Literature at University College London in the UK, where he is Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory. His work focuses on representations of the metropolitan city, particularly at nighttime, as well as nineteenth-century literature, film, crime fiction, utopian and dystopian literature, and many other genres of English literature and literary theory.

Matthew joins us in The Garden to explore what the fictional worlds we create tell us about the world we wish we had.

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Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

Collection

Utopia

About the Fellow

Prof. Matthew Beaumont

Matthew runs the Cities Imaginaries project as part of UCL's Urban Lab, where he looks at the metropolitan city in literature.

Utopia Collection

In difficult times, humans start thinking about what a perfect world - a utopia - might look like. Many have explored the concept, some have even tried to build it. We’re exploring how different thinkers have approached the idea of utopia.