The permanent and official blog of the University of Leicester's School of Museum Studies PhD student conferences and special events.

28 March 2012

A Final Port?

Utopia, it seems, is always just out of reach. It is multifarious, digressive, personal, massive, tiny, intimate and public. It is seen and unseen, tangible and intangible, a temptation and a lure always just slightly out of reach. It is shadowy round the edges, and over the course of the last two days we've talked and sailed around it. I say 'it' - perhaps that is the wrong word. For utopia is not singular, and perhaps rather than one solitary and universal goal, we should aim towards creating those tiny, multiple, resonant moments, those atoms of time, 'saturated' with meaning.

It is, for me, in those moments that utopias can be touched. They are real, experiential things, based upon specific, defined interactions of time, space, thing and consciousness. Consistently in the processes of birth and death, always mutable and odd, these individualised utopias can, nonetheless, be made manifest. What we have to realize is that the perceived loss of a universal utopia might well be a gain. To paraphrase Valéry, the best way to make utopia come true is to wake up - and to wake up, more specifically, to its evocation, and appearance, in the everyday.

Here we are at the end of the conference, but not, it seems, at the end of our journey. We hope that you'll take on many of the ideas and notions which have arisen throughout the last couple of days into your own thinking and practice. In your day to day lives, personal and professional, we hope you'll let numerous utopias, real and imagined, shared and private, peep through cracks in the mundane.

For all that we go our separate ways, it is time for us all to set sail once again...hopefully, we'll see you somewhere, sometime, beyond the sunset, beyond the western stars.


  1. What a beautifully-crafted summary of the final day of the symposium!

  2. have a look, I guess I made something in the filed of your interest...