Editor's welcome, PORTAL, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 2005

Paul Allatson


Abstract

Welcome to the July 2005 issue of Portal, a special issue with the title ‘Strange Localities: Utopias, Intellectuals and Identities in the 21st Century,’ guest edited by Alistair Fox and Hilary Radner (both from the University of Otago, New Zealand), who convened an international colloquium on this theme in January 2004, and Murray Pratt (University of Technology Sydney, Australia). As Alistair Fox says in his introduction to the special issue, the twelve papers gathered under the ‘Strange Localities’ rubric provide rich insights into the ways by which ‘the contemporary utopian impulse is expressing itself, both in the search for utopia, and through the exposure of false utopias.’ With a broad geographical reach, and an equally broad critical gaze, the essays collected here shed new light on the critical, yet often ambivalent, role that identity politics play in myriad utopian projects, and also in such critical enterprises and epoch-defining processes as postcolonialism, postfeminism, postmodernism, transnationalism, multiculturalism, and economic and cultural globalization.

In addition to the papers collected in the special issue section, this issue of Portal includes a number of essays that, while not addressing the special issue theme, also have much to say about the nexus between contemporary identity debates, intellectual practice, and utopian imaginaries. We are also pleased to introduce in the Portal Cultural Works' section two short chronicle-like pieces by Moses Iten, a young Australian writer.

Paul Allatson, Chair, PORTAL Editorial Committee

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