May 7, 2021
abstract:Land is essential to actually built utopias. Literature regarding built utopias pays next to no attention to the land under them or how it was obtained. Currently Canada's national conversation increasingly pivots around colonization by Europeans and the still unresolved takeover of lands of long-resident Indigenous peoples. The article's objective is to explore a present-centered approach to studying built utopias for its potential to explain how a Eurocentric conception of utopia was invested in the land. The approach draws on James Holstun's 1987 study of Puritan utopias to analyze the circumstances utopists encountered contemporaneously with building and maintaining settlements. The test case of 7,000 Mennonite biblical pacifists left detailed information about how actualized utopia works. The expectation is that research from many such past concrete experiences could astutely and practically inform the next inevitably land-related utopian vision, which, it seems, will be ecologically inspired.