Utopia and the Biopolitics of Race: Channel 4's Utopia (2013-15)

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This paper applies theories of biopolitics and biopower within the discipline of utopian studies. The paper concentrates on the ways in which theorizsations of biopower expose the mechanics of utopian discourses, formations, practices, and texts. During modernity, utopianism demonstrated an increasing preoccupation with issues and concerns pertinent to biopolitical governance through disciplining bodies. The topos of utopia became less a territorial space and more a corporeal space, in a shift of focus within utopianism from outer space to inner space, from geopolitics to biopolitics. Such a shift renders biopolitical theory indispensable to utopian studies. The relations between utopianism and biopower are explored through a reading of Dennis Kelly’s TV series, Utopia (Channel 4, 2013-2015) and the focus is specifically on the ways in which representations of race are determined by biopolitical discourses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFilm Criticism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • utoipa
  • biopolitics
  • biopower
  • dystopia
  • Michel Foucault
  • Giorgio Agamben
  • Race


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