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Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  283 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In an age of globalization characterized by the dizzying technologies of the First World and the social disintegration of the Third, is the concept of utopia still meaningful?

Archaeologies of the Future, Jameson’s most substantial work since Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, investigates the development of this form since Thomas More, and interrogat
Paperback, 431 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Verso (first published 2005)
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Archaeologies of the Future by Fredric JamesonThe Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by John CluteCritical Theory and Science Fiction by Carl Howard FreedmanThe Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of by Thomas M. DischThe Seven Beauties of Science Fiction by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr.
Science Fiction Criticism
1st out of 36 books — 19 voters
Minima Moralia by Theodor W. AdornoOne-Dimensional Man by Herbert MarcuseOn the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich NietzscheThe Theory of Communicative Action, Vol 1 by Jürgen HabermasEconomic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 by Karl Marx
Critical Theory
32nd out of 38 books — 15 voters

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Dec 18, 2014 Joe rated it really liked it
Bruising hermeneutic Marxism got no answers just diagrams and arrows. Easy to point out limitations of Jameson's approach, still, for someone thinking about the emergence of science fiction out of 17th century utopias and advances,this provides a number of useful generic definitions and distinctions to work with and against. It also provides a defense of utopic literature to supplement Russell Jacoby's intellectually fuzzy one. Holy fuck Steph Curry is killing it.
Tineke Dijkstra
Finished the sections of this work that I really wanted to read for now, but I am certainly not done with it and will return to this A LOT. What a great contribution to the secondary literature supporting my PhD research!

I disagreed with Jameson on some minor points (which is totally ok) and would've liked him to elaborate on certain issues more. However... Maybe not. That leaves room for me to do so!

4/5 stars because what always confuses me is why cultural theorists feel the need to explain th
Oct 10, 2011 Buell rated it it was amazing
Jameson's book is comparable in stature and ambition to Georg Lukacs's _The Historical Novel_, which Jameson himself has dubbed the most significant volume of dialectical literary criticism. Jameson succeeds in doing for science fiction--particularly in its utopian form--what Lukacs did for the historical novel. _Archaeologies of the Future_ is a major achievement of materialist critique.
Dec 24, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
Brilliant novel, but very dense and difficult to follow if you're not plugged into the conversation already. Jameson's book speaks to a very specific audience, and if you are not part of that audience, prepare to be left in the dust.
Gregg Wingo
Dec 19, 2014 Gregg Wingo rated it it was amazing
A non-apologetist review of the science fiction genre through the eyes of America's leading postmodernist thinker. You will need to bring your knowledge of the Western Canon and contemporary philosophy with you in order to fully appreciate this text. Its division into books I and II enables regular science fiction readers to access straight forward reviews in Book II.

Expect to learn from this book and don't expect him to enshrine SF into the Western Canon but rather to provide you with an unders
May 18, 2009 Jesus added it
Shelves: miscellanea
Literary criticism in the form of a collection of essays, this book explores particular aspects of the genre of science fiction:

"Religion was perhaps the most ancient organizing concept in the emergence of anthropology as a discipline: the ultimately determining instance for national or racial character, the ultimate source of cultural difference itself, the marker of the individuality of the various peoples in history (a role it still plays in Hegel and whose revival today we can witness in ide
Aug 28, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: utopia-dystopia
One of the rare books that really merits the "amazing" mark. The book is difficult to read because the ideas are deeply explored, original and counter-intuitive in many cases. Jameson also draws on a huge range of philosophical and literary texts, and actually explains them fairly clearly. Unlike a lot of literary theory that may rely on obscure language to express banal ideas, perform standard or moralistic ideological readings of narratives, /or congratulate itself for radicalism in some way, ...more
Sofia Samatar
Jun 27, 2012 Sofia Samatar rated it liked it
Jameson is always readable, and offers some great insights on literary utopias. I found the essays in the beginning of the book more interesting than the literary analysis toward the end--I don't know why, I just didn't feel like I was getting anything really NEW on Le Guin, for example. What I liked most about the book is the way Jameson expresses his own ambivalence about treating sf in this high-academic fashion. It's not because he thinks sf isn't good enough; it's because he doesn't want it ...more
Sep 28, 2009 J. rated it liked it
Eh. He wanders. A lot. And I guess I should be more accepting of that, but really he's all over the place. And in the context of Utopian studies, I imagine it all kind of makes sense, but the problem is that it really does seem like the science fiction and anti-utopian are just welded on here until the second part which, unfortunately, is mostly just rehashing the same things from earlier in the book. Get Freedman's "Science Fiction and Critical Theory" instead.
Aug 27, 2013 flannery rated it really liked it
Super theoretical and dense! But if you can forgive the overuse of German phrases with no English equivalent this serves as a really good primer to some very exciting sci-fi! I can't wait to read (or watch the movie verison of) Solaris!
Chad Brock
Oct 18, 2014 Chad Brock rated it liked it
Scott Neigh
Read partially for school. May go back and read it more thoroughly at some point, as there were some quite compelling bits, but not for the moment.
Aug 09, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
I love Jameson and his approach. Really integral to my thesis on utopia. Not for everyone though...
Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
Mar 20, 2011 Nicholas rated it really liked it
Pretty cool.
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Future ... Real? 1 1 Jun 06, 2013 09:44AM  
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Fredric Jameson (born 14 April 1934) is an American literary critic and Marxist political theorist. He is best known for his analysis of contemporary cultural trends—he once described postmodernism as the spatialization of culture under the pressure of organized capitalism. Jameson's best-known books include Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Political Unconscious, and Marxi ...more
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