Ecotopia Revisited: A look at utopias and dystopias and climate change


CORVALLIS, Ore. – A Portland scholar who studies utopian societies will lecture at Oregon State University on Monday, April 6, in a talk titled, “Ecotopia Revisited: Seeking Green in a Rainbow World.”

The free public presentation by Jim Proctor begins at 7 p.m. in OSU’s Withycombe Hall Room 109.

Proctor is professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. He has conducted research on a range of utopian Oregon communities, including eco-villages, destination resorts, and Generation X/creative class magnets. In this talk, he’ll discuss what he has learned about utopias and dystopias at local, regional and global scales, and how these ideal and nightmare worlds incorporate biophysical and human nature.

Proctor will discuss a recent study of Oregon communities, a related nationwide survey, and an analysis of contemporary environmental discourse to critically review the examples of utopias, such as ecological sustainability, as well as dystopia – global warming.

A geographer by training, Proctor’s academic background runs from religious studies to environmental science. His recent research primarily concerns contemporary environmental thought and its entanglement with science and religion.

The talk is sponsored by the Hundere Endowment in Religion and Culture and the Spring Creek Project at OSU.