Hearing Room 2: 12:30—1:45pm

In the nineteenth century and as recently as the 1960s, many activists and thinkers on the left seriously entertained the prospect of a "post-scarcity" society—a world in which labor would cease to be alienated. Those dreams seem distant today. What happened? Were these utopian hopes illusory? And what are the prospects for a revival of utopian thought today?

RUSSELL JACOBY is Professor in Residence at UCLA’s Department of History. He is the author of various articles and books, including Social Amnesia, The Last Intellectuals, The End of Utopia, and Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age.

SARAH LEONARD is a senior editor at The Nation and coeditor of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century. She is also an editor-at-large at Dissent and a contributing editor to The New Inquiry.

JAMES MILLER teaches politics at the New School in New York. A recovering rock critic, he is the author of works on various topics, including Marxism and existentialism; Rousseau and the rise of modern democracy; the American New Left of the Sixties; the life and times of Michel Foucault; the curse of bullshit among tenured radicals; and, most recently, Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche.