Australia as the Antipodal Utopia

European Imaginations From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century

By (author) Daniel Hempel Foreword by Bill Ashcroft

Publication date:

31 October 2019

Length of book:

152 pages


Anthem Press



ISBN-13: 9781785271397

Australia has a fascinating history of visions. As the antipode to Europe, the continent provided a radically different and uniquely fertile ground for envisioning places, spaces and societies. Australia as the Antipodal Utopia evaluates this complex intellectual history by mapping out how Western visions of Australia evolved from antiquity to the modern period. It argues that because of its antipodal relationship with Europe, Australia is imagined as a particular form of utopia – but since one person’s utopia is, more often than not, another’s dystopia, Australia’s utopian quality is both complex and highly ambiguous. Drawing on the rich field of utopian studies, Australia as the Antipodal Utopia provides an original and insightful study of Australia’s place in the Western imagination.

‘This groundbreaking volume goes further into the origins, prehistory and realisation of Australian utopianism than any before it. Impeccably researched and brilliantly argued, it sets a new and exciting direction in Australian cultural history.’
—Bill Ashcroft FAHA, Professor Emeritus, School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales, Australia