Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author, Critic, Editor.
(1943- ) American-Irish academic, literary and cultural critic, born of Irish parents in Chicago, Illinois, he is a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; educated as an undergraduate at St. Mary's College, Winona, Minnesota, he studied for his MA and PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He taught English at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, Crawford College of Art, Cork, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. In 2001 he was appointed Professor of Cultural Studies at Liverpool John Moores University in England. In 2002 he moved to the University of Limerick, Ireland, as Glucksman Professor of Contemporary Writing, and the following year was appointed founding Director of its Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies. Since 2005 he has been series editor of Peter Lang's Ralahine Utopian Studies list, which features several volumes on Utopia and sf. In 2008 he was awarded the Lyman Tower Sargent Distinguished Scholar Award (see Lyman Tower Sargent) by the North American Society for Utopian Studies. Moylan has published academic essays on sf (writing on Feminist sf, Utopian sf, William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson, and China Miéville among others) in a number of scholarly journals, including Science Fiction Studies Science Fiction Studies, Utopian Studies and Extrapolation. He has also edited special issues of Utopian Studies on Ernst Bloch, Fredric Jameson, Irish utopias, and utopia and Music. But he is best-known for his much-cited theory of "critical utopia", developed in Demand the Impossible (1986; exp 2014), and its Dystopian counterpart, proposed in Scraps of the Untainted Sky (2000). The 2014 second edition of Demand the Impossible includes a collection of comments on the significance of the first edition by eleven other sf scholars, and an additional chapter on Aldous Huxley's Island (1962).
Moylan received the Pilgrim Award for sf scholarship in 2017. [AMi]
Thomas Patrick Moylan
born Chicago, Illinois: 26 December 1943
- Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (London and New York: Methuen, 1986) [nonfiction: hb/]
- Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2014) [nonfiction: exp of the above: hb/]
- Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia (Boulder and Oxford: Westview Press, 2000) [nonfiction: pb/Wesso]
works as editor
- Not Yet: Reconsidering Ernst Bloch (London and New York: Verso, 1997) with Jamie Owen Daniel [nonfiction: anth: hb/]
- Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination (New York and London: Routledge, 2004) with Raffaella Baccolini [nonfiction: anth: pb/]
- Utopia-Method-Vision: The Use Value of Social Dreaming (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2007) with Raffaella Baccolini [nonfiction: anth: pb/]
- Exploring the Utopian Impulse: Essays on Utopian Thought and Practice (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2007) with Michael J Griffin and Carmen Kuhling [nonfiction: anth: pb/]
previous versions of this entry