TERMINOLOGY

Please look at our glossary, become familiar with our terminology, and discover the key points of our project. This glossary was developed by a multidisciplinary team of linguists, nutritionists, and specialists in anthropology, literature, philosophy and psychiatry.

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ALIMENTATION - Process by which organisms obtain and assimilate food or nutrients for the maintenance of vital functions, including growth.
BLACK UTOPIAS - In the mid-19th century, a number of utopian communities were established to aid blacks, both free and runaway slaves, in their plight. Unlike most utopian schemes, these black utopias were intended to be temporary, not permanent. Although they were designed to be communal and cooperative, they were to be transitory stages for the blacks who were thereafter to take their rightful and productive place in a free and self-reliant society. In Canada there were four black utopian communities: Wilberforce, Dawn and the British-American Institute, the Elgin Association, and the Refugee Home Society, all in Ontario. The United States had two: Nashoba in Tennessee and the Port Royal Experiment on the South Carolina Sea Islands.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.
BROOK FARM - In 1841 George Ripley (1802-1880), a former Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist, decided to convert his 200- acre country home nine miles from Boston at West Roxbury into a community where all would share equally in the domestic and agricultural chores necessary to run a farm. They would receive equal wages for this work, thus allowing everyone a maximum amount of free time for intellectual and social pursuits. It was financed by a joint stock company with shares valued at $100 each with a guaranteed interest rate of 5 percent per year. Twenty members, most of whom were intellectuals, including Nathaniel Hawthorne (who wrote about his experiences in The Blithedale Romance), began the experiment.
Eventually 115 members lived at Brook Farm, although the total population did not exceed 80 at any given time. Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Thoreau were frequent visitors. Although life at Brook Farm was filled with social events and various cultural endeavors, many found the physical workload to be somewhat daunting. Their most successful undertaking was their school, which attracted students from the surrounding cities by its emphasis on developing creativity and on student self-determination with regard to the subjects they studied. Eventually the framers' goal to keep the work to a minimum resulted in financial difficulties.
In an attempt to rescue their way of life, Ripley and Charles A. Dana, among others, embraced Fourierism in 1844. Brook Farm was renamed The Brook Farm Phalanx, and construction began on a large phalanstery that would house 150 new members. Albert Brisbane and Horace Greeley visited, giving long lectures on Fourierism and morality, and the Fourierist journal The Harbinger was published at the phalanx from 1845 to 1847. Thousands of people applied for membership, but it soon became apparent that the joy had gone out of life at Brook Farm. Work became more structured as new industries were added, but there were not enough members to allow for the rotation of job duties that they had enjoyed in the past. When the phalanstery was destroyed by fire days after it had been completed, no one had the funds or the energy to rebuild it. The property was sold off a year later in 1847.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.
CITY OF THE SUN - This classic utopian novel, originally titled Civitas Solis Poetica, was written by Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639), a sea captain from Genoa, in 1602. In the book, which proposes an ideal republic, a Genoese sea captain describes in a dialogue a humanistic and scientific society that he claims to have seen in his travels. This city on the island of Taprobane in the South Seas is ruled by a virtuous monarch, the Sole, assisted by three lieutenants: Power, Wisdom, and Love. Here the all-powerful state supersedes the individual and is technologically advanced; there are even flying machines.

Scientific knowledge being of paramount importance, one third of the ruling body of the city is made up of scientists. This scientific knowledge is projected to the citizens by means of seven concentric walls in the circular city, and at the center stands the Solarian temple with seven candles named for the planets.

All property is held in common, all work happily for the common good, and marriage is for reproduction in the interest of the state, not for love, the young being supervised to assure that the republic's interests come first. The Ministry of Love requires that young persons copulate between the ages of 19 and 21, but with the permission of the First Master of Reproduction young men may copulate with older, younger, or pregnant women since they are unlikely to bear children. Sodomy is condemned, and if repeated often the sodomist is executed. Children live in communal residences after being weaned at the age of two, and they study the sciences at least four hours every day. Women have equal rights with men, including service in the military, defense being necessary because there are four different and sometimes hostile states on the island. Resembling in many ways Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Johann Andreae's Christianopolitanae, and Thomas More's Utopia, Campanella's The City of the Sun played a major role in keeping the utopian vision alive in Europe in the centuries that followed.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.
COCKAYGNE, LAND OF - During the Middle Ages and after, a popular myth stretching back to Hesiod's Golden Age of Kronos and beyond told of an ancient time of happiness that existed in the Land of Cockaygne, "cockaygne" meaning "small cakes." It was very popular among the lower classes burdened by their hard life. Cockaygne literature and myth told of a land of plenty in food and drink where the peaceful peasants never had to work and lived in perfect health unrestrained by traditional customs and laws. In Cockaygne, there was no private property because it was a classless society where social justice reigned at all times. Although not a true utopia, Cockaygne represented a popular dream world of physical pleasure for the medieval peasants.
It lived on in the popular mind of the socially downtrodden, both then and in the centuries to come, and fed into later utopian literature.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.
DIET - Group of foods and beverages ingested by a person usually...
DIGGERS - In the aftermath of the English civil war of 1642-1648, there was much devastation in the land. When local church services were disrupted by the military at Walton in Surrey in April 1649, a handful of men led by the tailor and mystical millennialist Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) left the estates of their masters and began digging in the common fields at St. George's Hill, Weybridge, to prepare them for seed as a gesture of their discontent. They were soon joined by other poor and depressed persons from nearby London, leading to protests against their presence in the form of beatings by the local citizens, followed by their being driven off the land and then having their settlements destroyed by the Commonwealth government. Other settlements of Diggers (or, as the called themselves, "True Levellers") in the realm were also destroyed, and the people were scattered and forced to live in little hutches during the winter before again being dispersed. In the aftermath of these events, Winstanley wrote a treatise entitled The Law of Freedom in a Platform or True Magistracy Restored in 1652. Addressed to Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), it contained all the elements of a utopian community.
Private property was forbidden; work and play were communal; money was nonexistent (thereby precluding commerce);relief for the needy was provided without charge from communal storehouses; laborers would no longer work for their masters but on common fields; marriage was a civil ceremony only in this secular realm; government was patriarchal, with officials being elected by the males 40 years of age or older; a complete educational system would be established; hanging, whipping, and imprisonment would no longer be used; and there was no state church. In The Law of Freedom, Winstanley was primarily interested in advocating a society free of hunger and want, not one of abundance and self-indulgence, as would be found in many later utopian visions.
Still, the Diggers are often properly regarded as the first genuine communist-utopian actors in modern times.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.
DYSTOPIA - Thinking, the philosophy or discursive process based on a fiction which value represents the antithesis of utopia or promotes...
ECOTOPIA - This novel by Ernest Callenbach (1929-) published in 1975 described a future materialistic near-utopian state in the Northwest that seceded from the United States because of the latter's anti-ecological policies and practices. Ecotopia, its capital located in San Francisco, did not allow private ownership of property, and all economic units were small to eliminate class consciousness.
The influence of bureaucracies and technology was minimal, and the workload for its citizens was light so that they could enjoy the beautiful environment. Dominated by females, Ecotopia relied heavily on contraceptives and abortion to control population growth, and the closest the state came to religion was the nearworship of trees. The Ecotopians believed they would be recycled at death. Callenbach penned a sequel in 1981 entitled Ecotopia Emerging.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.