2007 volume 25(1) pages 120 – 143

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Kraftl P, 2007, "Utopia, performativity, and the unhomely" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25(1) 120 – 143

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Utopia, performativity, and the unhomely

Peter Kraftl

Received 19 November 2004; in revised form 13 May 2005<>

Abstract. In this paper I discuss how a differently conceived performative and architectural understanding of utopia can help us to rework and extend notions of utopianism that have received renewed attention in recent times. In developing this point, I argue that, although notions of dwelling and comfort are key to utopia and architecture, the ‘unhomely’ and ‘unsettling’, which also appear in aspects of thought on performativity, are a crucial and as-yet greatly underscrutinised part of thinking about utopia. I attempt to question what we consider ‘good’ or desirable, and hence to enlarge the frame of what we consider ‘utopian’. Through this, I consider the potential beginnings of an extended uncanny utopian ethics.

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